The five stages of rectal cancer indicate the vastness of the cancer. The higher the number, the more advanced the cancer. Staging rectal cancer is an essential part to diagnosing and providing specialty care for the disease.
Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with rectal cancer? Use our online Find a Doctor tool to talk to experts who know how rectal cancer staging can affect your treatment. Our cancer specialists can explain staging for colon diseases in Long Beach, Northridge, Downtown LA, Glendale, and San Bernardino.
What are the Stages of Rectal Cancer?
Doctors determine the five stages of rectal cancer by examining:
- If cancer has spread to other organs
- Whether the cancer has spread to lymph nodes
- How deep the tumor has invaded the rectal wall
Stage 0 rectal cancer is located only in the outermost lining of the rectum. Doctors sometimes refer to Stage 0 rectal cancer as carcinoma in situ because the cancer has not spread.
The tumor has grown deeper into the rectal lining, but has not spread outside the rectum or to lymph nodes.
The cancer has reached the outermost layers of the rectal tissues, but has not reached the lymph nodes. In this stage, the cancer may have grown through the wall and into nearby tissues or organs.
Stage III rectal cancers have spread to nearby lymph nodes or tissues, but have not reached distant body sites or organs.
Stage five cancer has spread beyond the rectum and into other organs and tissues.
Rectal Cancer Stages & Treatment at Dignity Health Southern California
Pathology results and imaging tests will help your doctor identify the stage of the cancer. After an accurate diagnosis, your doctor will talk with you about creating a personalized treatment plan. Surgery is usually an option for early-stage cancers, while a combination of other treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, may treat advanced stages of rectal cancer.
Only an expert can accurately diagnose and stage rectal cancer, so schedule an appointment with one of our oncologists today.
Dignity Health uses the latest diagnostic tools and technology for rectal cancer staging in Southern California.