Rectal Cancer Stages
Rectal cancer stages are the main indicators of the progress of polyps that develop in the rectum. They are based on analysis of the past cases and also act as guidelines to detect severity of the cancerous expansion in the rectal or adjacent areas. It is easy to treat the disease if the stage of the disease is known. Treatment patterns and survival rate vary with increase in stages and also depend upon the stage in which the tumors are traced.
Understanding rectal cancer stages
Stages for rectal cancer are based on various parameters. Size and metastatic behavior of the tumors is the most important criteria for staging rectal cancer. Tumors may display different behavior in different stages of the disease and may increase the pace of metastasis once they cross the second stage. Treatment techniques and cure patterns are primarily based on stage of the disease. They may also vary among different victims though all of them happen to be suffering from the same stage.
Stages are the approximate pattern of the development and spread of rectal cancer. Nature of stages may vary in primary and secondary cancer as the origin and pattern of metastasis is different for both the types. Primary cancer is the one in which the tumors develop in the rectum itself and reach other areas of the body once the intensity of cancer cells increases. Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of primary rectal cancer and constitutes almost 98% of the overall rectal cancer cases. The malignant cells develop in the tissues present on the outer lining or surface of the rectum. They penetrate to inner layers of the rectum as the severity of the cancer increases.
Importance of rectal cancer stages
Stages of rectal cancer play a very important role in thorough diagnosis of the polyps. Diagnosis techniques are not the same for all stages of the disease. If the cancer reaches an advanced stage, more than one diagnosis techniques may have to be used to find the exact reason and origin of cancerous tumors. It is also important to interpret the symptoms correctly before finalizing on the stage the cancer.
Stages of rectal cancer are also important form the victim's point of view. They help the patient to opt for the right kind of treatment well in advance before the disease progresses into a later stage. Stages are the main indicators of survival rate and life expectancy of rectal cancer patient. Each stage is related to a certain survival rate and may exhibit the chances and benefits of curing the disease in that particular stage.
Rectal cancer research cannot be complete without taking the pattern of stages into consideration. causes and symptoms change according to stages. Also, the sustainability of the patient towards cancer treatments decrease as the disease progresses into higher stages. Most of the cases of recurrence occur mainly due to detection of the tumors in the later phases. Survival rate of the disease is as high as 90% in the first stage and as low as 25% in the fourth stage. Such a big difference in survival rate is due to inefficient detection or improper treatment of tumors.
The disease is more common in adults and occurs in the people older than 50 years. Rectal cancer is equally common in men and women. Also, the overall detection of cases of rectal cancer is high in industrialized and developed nations. Black people have higher death-rate as compared to white ones as far as rectal cancer-deaths is concerned.
Rectal cancer stages
Stages for rectal cancer are primarily divided into four important stages. First stage is the most primary one while the fourth stage is the severest.
Stage 0 is a nominal stage wherein the cell abnormality is detected but not at all severe. Chances of any major damage to the rectal or other areas of the body are extremely less and the stage is also known as pre-cancerous one. Infected cells are detected in the inner linings of the rectum and can be easily eliminated by surgery. The stage is also known as carcinoma in situ.
Stage 1 denotes the actual start of cancerous infection in the rectum. The stage is also known as Duke's A stage and the abnormal cells penetrate into the inner linings but do not infect the muscular areas. Surgical methods are highly effective to treat the disease in this stage.
Stage 2 is also known as Duke's B phase and the cancer cells spread outside the rectum but do not affect the lymph nodes. In some cases, the cancerous cells may also reach important organs like bowel, uterus, bladder or prostate gland. Surgery can be effective in this stage but its combination with other methods like radiation and chemical treatment can also be recommended if the chances of eliminating tumors are high.
Stage 3 is an important stage of rectal cancer. This is also known as an advanced stage and called as Duke's C stage. The tumors succeeds to affect the lymph nodes and makes the detection and diagnosis of malignant cells complicated. Surgery is usually less effective in such cases and harsh treatments like exposing tumors to chemicals or radiations needs to be undergone.
Stage 4 is the final and most severe stage of rectal cancer. It is also called as Duke's D phase and the tumors metastasize rapidly to various areas of the body. Lungs and liver are the main targets of metastatic tumors and may also spread beyond the digestive system. The tumors usually spread through the lymph nodes. It is difficult to curb cancerous growth in this stage and radiotherapy or chemotherapy is the only effective option to control abnormal cell-growth.
Rectal cancer stages play important role in basic information about rectal cancer awareness. Recurrent phase is another big concern in treating rectal cancer. Issues of cancer recurrence occur usually in the third or fourth stage and may put a very bad impact on the person's body making the process of treatment complicated and time-consuming.