Read about Colorectal Cancer Staging and Prognosis. Colorectal Cancer also known as Colon Cancer, Rectal Cancer or Bowel Cancer is a cancer of the colon or rectum. The colon and the rectum are parts of the large intestine, at the lower lower end of the digestive tract.
95%t of Colorectal Cancers are Adenocarcinomas (cancers that begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids). Colorectal Cancer is caused by abnormal growth of cells called Polyp that can Metastasize (spread to other parts of the body).
Colorectal cancer is the 3rd most common type of cancer in men and women in the USA. There are 3 million colon cancer cases reported every year in United States. Colorectal Cancer Signs and symptoms include blood in the stool, change in bowel movements, weight loss and constant fatigue.
To see the condition of your body due to any cancer, stage usually gives the description about the extent of cancer in your body. Colorectal cancer in particular, the stage is based on how deep or how far the cancer has spread or growing into the wall of the intestine, nearby structures reached, and if it has spread to the lymph nodes or other distant organs. It is important to understand the colorectal cancer staging and colorectal cancer prognosis.
Colorectal Cancer Staging and Prognosis
The Colorectal cancer staging can be made according to the TNM staging system from the WHO organization, the UICC and the AJCC. The Astler-Coller classification (1954) or the Dukes classification (1932) are now less used.
Colorectal Cancer Stages
Medical practitioner, doctor and surgeon will take note to the stage of cancer because it is the most important factors for them to determine the prognosis and then treatment options. To find out the colorectal cancer stages, it will involve a physical exam, biopsy test and any imaging test necessary. If the colorectal cancer stages can be determine by the results from the mentioned procedure just now, it is called a clinical stage.
Maybe for some cases, the patient has to get a surgery to see how far the cancer developed and then the result from the surgery can be combined with the clinical stage, it is called pathologic stages. The surgery result also can be combined with some factors to be used in the clinical stage.
Pathologic stage is considered to be more accurate than clinical stage because it can describe how far the cancer developed or extent in the body. It is also to allow the doctors to give you the option of treatment based on your condition.
Colorectal Cancer Stage 1
Colorectal Cancer which has invaded the mucosa and the submucosa is considered stage 1 Colorectal cancer. The submucosa is the underlining of the large intestine and it lies beneath the mucosa. In stage 1 Colorectal cancer, malignant cells may have also affected the deeper muscle layer of the colon wall, but have not invaded any areas outside of the colon.
Colorectal Cancer Stage 2
When cancer has spread past the colon wall, but has not affected the lymph nodes, it is considered stage II colon cancer. This condition is subdivided into three stages:
Colorectal Cancer Stage 2A has spread to the serosa or outer colon wall, but not beyond outer barrier.
Colorectal Cancer 2B has spread past the serosa but has not affected nearby organs.
Colorectal Cancer 2C has affected the serosa and the nearby organs.
Colorectal Cancer Stage 3
Colorectal Cancer Stage 3 has spread past the lining of the colon and has affected the lymph nodes is considered stage III colon cancer. In this stage, even though the lymph nodes are affected, the cancer has not yet affected other organs in the body. This stage is further divided into three categories: 3A, 3B and 3C. Where your cancer is staged in these categories depends on a complex combination of which layers of the colorectal wall are affected and how many lymph nodes have been attacked.
Colorectal Cancer Stage 4
In stage 4 Colorectal cancer, the cancer has spread to other organs in the body through the blood and lymph nodes.
Colorectal Cancer Prognosis
We can say that according to the person’s condition, they can respond differently to cancer treatment. The doctors will always give you an appropriate treatment, according to the result of cancer stage, and the chance to be cancer-free again is hopeful. However, the survival rate is always depends on how far or the extent of the cancer during the diagnosis and the individual’s responsiveness to the treatment. The treatment for the colorectal cancer is improved by continuous research and studies, and so with the prognosis. There are several factors to determine how well a patient will do after colorectal cancer treatment. Such as:
Stage of the Colon Cancer
This is one of the most critical factors. According to the National Cancer Institute in the US, patient with stage 1 colorectal cancer having about 93% of survival rate while stage II is between 72% and 85%, and stage III is still high as 83%. What we have to worry here is the prognosis of stage IV, which is only 8% of the patient can live for five years after diagnosed.
Lymphatic System Damages
Our body using lymph nodes and lymph vessels to control the immune system in order to fight against diseases. It is the lymphatic’s system job to protect our body from any bacterial infection or foreign substance. If the lymph glands are affected by cancer, our body will lose this preventive system and your cancer will be likely to re-occur one day.
Colorectal cancer can affect or spread to other distinct organs such as our liver and our lungs. The doctor will suggest a chemotherapy treatment or radiation treatment to stop the cancer from spreading further.
Surgery Quality and Success
In rectal cancers, surgery probably a little difficult. But surgery is a very important part of the treatment procedure. The doctors will conduct a well-planned surgery based on the condition of your body and the type of cancer stage you are having.
You will never have to worry because a person that has colorectal cancer still can live normally with a few treatments. Based on your condition, you will be suggested with what type of treatment that suitable for you. You have to update your doctor about the changes that you feel in your body after each treatment or what type of diet you have to take to speed up the healing process. This information will be helpful for your doctor to suggest any changes to your next colorectal cancer treatment.