Colorectal Cancer – Types & Stages

Cancer Centers in Glendale, Scottsdale, & Payson


At Palo Verde Cancer Specialists, our mission is to provide world-class cancer care to patients throughout the greater Phoenix, AZ community. As a leading radiation therapy & cancer treatment center, we offer some of the most advanced cancer treatments in the world, including noninvasive options. If you are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, we can help – but your treatment will depend on the type and stage of cancer you’re diagnosed with.


Types & Stages of Colorectal Cancer


The term colorectal cancer refers to cancers that develop anywhere in the colon or the rectum, the final parts of the digestive tract. Colorectal cancer is most common in patients over 50, although it can develop in younger patients. Colorectal cancer claims roughly 50,000 lives every year – but with early detection and high-quality treatment, it’s possible to beat it.


Colorectal cancer is assessed using a 5-stage system, running from Stage 0 through Stage IV. Staging is determined based on the TMN system, which assesses the following factors:


  • Tumor: The size of the original tumor
  • Node: If the cancer has spread to lymph nodes
  • Metastasis: If the cancer has spread to distant sites in the body


Each of these factors is assessed to create a holistic stage, which grades the severity of the cancer. The higher the stage, the more serious the condition. Staging for colorectal cancer is defined as follows:


    • Stage 0: Also called cancer in situ, this applies when cancer cells appear only in the mucosa, the thin lining of the colon, and have not penetrated the colon wall.
    • Stage I: At this stage, the cancer has grown past the mucosa and into the muscles of the colon wall. It has not yet affected lymph nodes or other organs.


  • Stage II


    • Stage IIA: The cancer has grown completely through the colon wall, but has not spread to nearby tissue or nearby lymph nodes.
    • Stage IIB: The cancer has grown through the muscles of the colon wall and spread to the peritoneum, the thin lining of the abdomen. It has not infected lymph nodes or distant sites.
    • Stage IIC: The tumor has grown past the colon wall and spread to nearby tissues, but not to lymph nodes or distant organs.
  • Stage III
    • Stage IIIA: At this stage, the cancer has grown through the inner lining of the intestine or into the muscular layer and has spread to 1-3 nearby lymph nodes.
    • Stage IIIB: At this point, the cancer has grown through the wall of the colon, potentially affecting surrounding structure. It has also infected 1-3 lymph nodes, but not spread to distant sites.
    • Stage IIIC: This stage refers to a cancer that has infected 4 or more lymph nodes, but not spread to distant sites. This applies regardless of how far into the colon wall the cancer has grown.
  • Stage IV
    • Stage IVA: This applies to any cancer that has spread to a single distant organ, like the liver.
    • Stage IVB: This applies to any cancer that has spread to more than one distant part of the body.


Schedule A Cancer Treatment Consultation in Phoenix, AZ

We understand how difficult fighting cancer can be – but as a leading cancer treatment provider serving the Phoenix area, we’re committed to standing by your side throughout the process. Request a consultation today to find out how we can create a comprehensive treatment plan for your colorectal cancer and help you beat it. We look forward to helping you overcome your condition and reclaim your normal lifestyle.

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