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Understanding the Stages of Colon Cancer

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BY: ARMEN GREGORIAN | June 11, 2024 | Colon Cancer

Colon cancer, a type of cancer that begins in the large intestine (colon), is a significant health concern that requires early detection and treatment for the best outcomes. Residents of Glendale should be aware of the stages of colon cancer, as understanding these stages can lead to more informed decisions about their health and treatment options. Consulting a colon cancer doctor in Glendale can provide the expertise and care necessary for managing this condition effectively.

What Are the Stages of Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is categorized into five main stages, from 0 to IV. Each stage represents the progression of the cancer and helps determine the most appropriate treatment plan.

  • Stage 0 (Carcinoma in Situ):
      • At this initial stage, abnormal cells are found in the colon’s innermost lining. These cells have not spread beyond the mucosa (the innermost layer of the colon). This stage, also known as carcinoma in situ, is highly treatable with surgery.
  • Stage I:
      • In Stage I, cancer has spread beyond the mucosa to the submucosa (the layer underneath) and may have reached the muscle layer of the colon wall. It has not yet spread to the lymph nodes or distant organs. Surgery is often the primary treatment.
  • Stage II:
      • Stage II colon cancer is divided into three sub-stages:
        • Stage IIA: Cancer has spread through the muscle layer to the outermost layers of the colon or rectum.
        • Stage IIB: Cancer has grown through the wall of the colon or rectum but has not invaded nearby tissues or organs.
        • Stage IIC: Cancer has spread to nearby structures but not to the lymph nodes.
  • Stage III:
      • Stage III colon cancer is characterized by the spread of cancer to nearby lymph nodes but not to other parts of the body. It is divided into three sub-stages:
        • Stage IIIA: Cancer has spread to one to three lymph nodes.
        • Stage IIIB: Cancer has spread to four to six lymph nodes.
        • Stage IIIC: Cancer has spread to seven or more lymph nodes.
  • Stage IV:
    • Stage IV colon cancer is the most advanced stage. Cancer has spread to other body parts, such as the liver or lungs. This stage is further divided into two sub-stages:
      • Stage IVA: Cancer has spread to one distant site or organ.
      • Stage IVB: Cancer has spread to more than one distant site or organ.

Importance of Early Detection

Early detection of colon cancer significantly improves the chances of successful treatment. Regular screenings, such as colonoscopies, are crucial, especially for individuals over the age of 50 or those with a family history of colon cancer. Recognizing the symptoms early, such as changes in bowel habits, blood in the stool, abdominal discomfort, and unexplained weight loss, can prompt timely medical attention.

Treatment Options

The treatment of colon cancer depends on its stage. Early stages (0 and I) often require surgical intervention to remove the cancerous tissue. As the stages advance, additional treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapy may be necessary. In Stage IV, a combination of treatments is usually employed to manage the disease and improve the quality of life.

Seeking Professional Help in Glendale

For those residing in Glendale and concerned about colon cancer, it is essential to consult a specialist who can provide comprehensive care and guidance. Dr. Armen Gregorian, MD, is an expert in the field and offers personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient’s needs.

If you have any questions or need to schedule a consultation, please call us at (818) 847-7067. Early detection and professional medical care are key to successfully managing colon cancer.

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