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Bowel Cancer Stages


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There are four bowel cancer stages known in today's time. The individuals who have an IBD i.e. Inflammatory Bowel Disease are very much prone to this cancer. Bowel cancer prevention should be backed by timely and reliable medical examinations so that polyps can be detected right in early bowel cancer stages. This is one the most common cancer but also is the most curable cancer in the world. This cancer takes a lot of time to be diagnosed, and when the symptoms start troubling only then can the illness be known to an individual. Though, this cancer has four stages there is a fifth stage too which is into it and is called as the recurring stage.

Bowel Cancer Stages:

Stage 0

Bowel Cancer Stages This stage is also called as the carcinoma in situ. This is the most primitive stage of the bowel cancer. In this stage, the cancer just reaches the lining of the rectum and thus is only restricted to the tissue which is dropping out of the rectum which is called as the polyp. This can be eliminated with the help of the process called colonscopy. This process stops the cancer to grow into further stages and hence is removed from the body.

Stage 1

In this stage, the tissue i.e. the polyp is formed into a tumor. This is an advanced stage and does not involve just the lining of the rectum. The treatment in this is only of a surgery that needs to be done so that the tumor can be removed from the body. The whole part is removed from the body as the tumor has reached the wall of the rectum or colon or the bowel. After the surgery is done, the non-malignant parts are reconnected.

Stage 2

This is the stage when the tumor has gone outside the colon or the tissue but has not yet reached the lymph nodes. This in simple terms is called as the cancer spreading from one body part to another. This is called as metastasis. This can be cured with a surgery called as resection. The survival rate stages 2 is not more than 65%. This particular stage is divided into 3 subdivisions:

  1. Stage 2a: In this stage, the cancer has out grown to the muscle layer but has not gone beyond the colon.
  2. Stage2b: In this stage, the tumor has grown on the wall but is still inside the colon.
  3. Stage2c: In this stage, the tumor has grown in the last layer as well has made prey to many of the tissues the wall surrounds.

Stage 3

This is the stage where the tumor has spread on to the walls of the colon as well as the lymph nodes. This does not mean that the tumor will grow on to various other body parts as well, but it means that the treatment of the cancer will be more severe. This will involve surgery like resection of the bowel, chemotherapy or any other medical therapy of bowel cancer which will solve the purpose. The rate of survival after the treatment of the cancer which is in the third stage is not more than 40%

Bowel cancer stages are often subdivided and so is stage 3 into 3 subdivisions

  1. Stage 3a: In this stage, the cancer is into the middle of the wall or has spread into a few layers or tissues. This more or less affects the lymph nodes between 1 and 3 and a few fat tissues near the lymph nodes. In some cases, it is also seen that the 4 and 6 lymph nodes are affected when the tumor has reached in middle layers of the wall of the colon.
  2. Stage 3b: In this stage, the cancer is spread all over the walls and affects the first and third lymph nodes. It affects the fourth and the sixth node when the tumor has spread in the muscle layer and or the outer layer of the colon.
  3. Stage 3c: This stage particularly states that the tumor has reached all the layers and the fourth as well as the sixth node. There are times when the tumor has passed on through the whole wall of the bowel and has affected seven or more lymph nodes. There are also chances that the tumor has spread in all the layers of the wall and the muscles and all the lymph nodes as well. This will also create issues for the fat tissue which is very close to the lymph node.

Stage 4

In the bowel cancer stages, stage 4 is the last stage and it simply denotes that it is at a very severe stage where it has affected all the other parts of the body. In this stage the tumor has been transmitted in all the other parts of the body. it affects the lungs primarily and then may the ovaries or the liver. The only cure to bowel cancer is the resection surgery, radiation therapy as well as chemotherapy. Being the last stage, the rate of survival after 5 years of this surgery is not more than 4%.

Recurrent cancer

As the name suggests recurrent cancer is the cancer that comes again into the body even after the treatment. This can be in the bowel or any other organ present in the body. This simply means that cancer has no end and it can be back at any time. There should be regular checkups even after the treatment.

The bowel cancer stages get severe and as time passes become very difficult to treat. This is the reason why the treatment should be done as soon as the cancer is detected even if it is not at all severe.

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