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Understanding Stages of Rectal Cancer on the Central Coast

What is meant by stage 3 rectal cancer? Is a stage 4 rectal cancer prognosis good or bad? 

Rectal cancer stages, along with diagnostic screening results and symptoms, provide your doctor with valuable information. The stage of your cancer guides personalized treatment recommendations for healing and your well-being. 

At Dignity Health Central Coast, we offer comprehensive cancer care, including the latest tests and treatment options for rectal cancer. Our oncologists work to determine all stages of rectal cancer on California’s Central Coast.

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Rectal Cancer Treatment by Stage at Dignity Health Central Coast

Several factors determine the stages of rectal cancer. Doctors will look at whether the cancer is in your lymph nodes or other organs and how far the tumor has spread.

Rectal cancer ranges from stage 0, the earliest stage, to stage IV, the most advanced. The stage of your cancer will determine the treatment that’s right for you at Dignity Health Central Coast:

  • Rectal cancer stage 0 means the cancer is only in the outermost lining of your rectum. Your doctor can detect this stage with a colonoscopy and remove any tumors. You may not require additional treatment.
  • Rectal cancer stage I indicates the cancer is deeper in the lining of the rectum than stage 0 but is found nowhere else. Surgery will remove the cancer and a part of your rectum.
  • Rectal cancer stage II means the cancer has grown into the outer layers of your rectal tissues and, in later stage II, through the wall to nearby organs and tissues. This stage is effectively treated with surgery and perhaps chemotherapy.
  • Rectal cancer stage III means the cancer is in nearby tissues or lymph nodes but has not spread to distant body sites or organs. Surgery, sometimes accompanied by chemotherapy and radiation, treats this stage.
  • Rectal cancer stage IV is the most advanced stage. The cancer goes beyond your rectum to other tissues and organs. Your doctor may suggest surgery to remove the cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation can prevent complications and provide symptom relief.

Your doctor will continue to stage the rectal cancer throughout your treatment as part of our comprehensive oncology services at Dignity Health Central Coast.

Dignity Health offers personalized treatment for all stages of rectal cancer on California’s Central Coast.