Each cancer is divided into four or more stages. Staging is based on the spread of cancer and therefore helps plan the right treatment to control the growth of cancer. Like other cancers, colon cancer is also quite common these days. It is also known as colorectal cancer. Various tests such as CT, biopsy, MRI, blood analysis, X-rays, etc., help diagnose cancer.
The stages of colon cancer
Colon cancer can spread to nearby lymph nodes and tissues, as cancer cells begin to invade nearby cells. Cancer can spread even to distant parts of the body through tissues or lymphatic vessels or through the blood as it begins to attack veins and capillaries. The spread of cancer to other parts of the body is termed as “metastasis.” Due to the metastasis, the number of tumors, the size of the tumors and the number of sites, where the tumors appear, increase considerably.
The detection of some abnormal cells in the innermost layer of the colon wall (the mucosa) is called carcinoma in situ (zero colon cancer stage). Abnormal cells are prone to develop cancer cells. Therefore, the patient has to observe the development of the anomalies. In stage 1, cancer (malignant tumor) is detected in the colon mucosa. Cancer may have spread to the layers of the mucosa (the submucosa). You should know what the early signs of colon cancer are, since rapid treatment during the early stages helps prevent the growth of cancer and helps increase the patient’s life expectancy.
The second stage of colon cancer is divided again into three stages 2A, 2B, and 2C. If cancer has spread to the outermost layer (the serosa) of the colon wall, it is classified as stage 2A. Stage 2B indicates the spread of cancer through the outer wall of the colon, but the cancer is still confined to the colon only. Stage 2C suggests the spread of colon cancer to nearby organs.
The third stage of colon cancer is divided again into 3 stages and the fourth stage into 2 stages. Stage 4 is the most advanced phase of this cancer. If the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes and nearby organs such as the liver, lung or ovaries, or to distant lymph nodes, then it is called stage 4A. If the cancer has spread to the lining of the abdominal wall or to distant organs, it is known as stage 4B.
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The third stage of colon cancer is subdivided into 3A, 3B, and 3C. Experts describe the stage as 3A, in which cancer spreads from the mucosa to the submucosa (the layer below the mucosa) and even to the muscular layer of the colon wall. In this case, if the doctors detect cancer in at least one but not more than 3 nearby lymph nodes or if cancer cells from cancerous tissue near the lymph nodes, the condition is referred to as stage 3 A. If the Cancer spreads from the mucosa to the submucosa and if the cancer attacks at least 4 but not more than the 6 nearby lymph nodes, then the phase is also described as 3A.
When the cancer cells spread from the mucosa to the serosa and spread to the serous layer without invading the nearby organs, it is called, as in step 3B. Cancer can spread to nearby lymph nodes (no more than 3) or can form a cancerous tissue near the lymph nodes. If the cancer spreads from the inside of the outermost layer of the colon and at least to 4, but not more than the 6 nearby lymph nodes, then it is also referred to as stage 3B. Or if the cancer spreads from the mucosa to the submucosa and muscle layer of the colon and has invaded 7 or more nearby lymph nodes, then the condition is termed colon cancer in stage 3B.
If cancer has spread through the serosa and at least 4, but not more than the 6 nearby lymph nodes or 7 or more nearby lymph nodes, without invading nearby organs, it is described as stage 3C. In the event that cancer has spread through the serosa to one or more lymph nodes, or cancerous tissue has formed near the lymph nodes and if it has invaded nearby organs, then the stage is also known as the 3C.
If the cancer is detected in the previous stages, doctors can control the growth of cancer. The survival rate is five years, for those diagnosed with colon cancer in the first stage it is 93%. In stage 3, treatment options for colon cancer include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgical removal of cancer, analgesics, etc. If it is not possible to connect the two colon cutting ends, then a stoma is made on the outside of the abdomen, to which a bag can be attached to collect the waste material. The prognosis of colon cancer depends on the age, sex, lifestyle, diet, general health of the patient, at what stage the cancer is diagnosed, the number of damaged points, the speed with which is treated.
The 5-year survival rate for stage 3 is between 44 and 83%, depending on the various factors described above.
The 5-year survival rate for stage 3A: is 83%.
The survival rate of 5 years for stage 3B: is 64%.
The survival rate of 5 years for stage 3C: is 44%.
In addition to rapid treatment and medications, colon cancer patients require family support. One should not lose hope. With a strong mind and with the love and affection of family and friends, you can fight cancer easily.