Colon cancer has five stages, and there are different treatment options for each level. The first stage, known as Stage 0, involves only the lining of the colon, which is also referred to as mucosa. At this stage, polyps, or benign tumors, can be removed when a colonoscopy takes place. Once they are removed, the chance of them recording does not exist.
Stage I is present when the cancer spreads past the lining to the walls of the colon or rectum. The polyp that has not been treated becomes a tumor, and reaches the wall of the colon or rectum. Treatment options can include a surgical procedure to remove the cancerous part of the colon.
When the cancer reaches tissue that surrounds the colon, but does not reach the lymph nodes, there is a Stage II colon cancer present in the body. When cancer spreads from one part of the body to another like so, it is called metastasis. A resection surgery can be used for treatment at this stage. At this point, the five-year survival rate is dropped at a dramatic rate to 60 percent.
Next, there is Stage III colon cancer. This is when the cancer spreads to reach the lymph nodes, but not to other organs in the body. Treatment must be more aggressive than the earlier stages. This includes a surgical resection of the colon, chemotherapy and medical therapies.
When cancer spreads to other organs along with the lymph nodes, there is a Stage IV cancer of the colon. It can spread to the lungs and liver, among others. Treatment for this stage will include radiation, along with the other mentioned treatments. Recurrent cancer means the cancer comes back after treatment. Checkups are necessary to make sure the cancer does not come back, and to treat it early if it does.