Colon Cancer Stages

Colon cancer presents in many stages, depending on the extent the cancer has spread to nearby parts of the body. The Colon Cancer Stages upon diagnosis help in determining what colon cancer treatment to pursue – surgical removal of the cancerous tissue, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. The stages of colon cancer also impact on colon cancer survival rate. Generally, the survival rate for colon cancer is five years. This suggests the percentage of people who continue to live five year after being diagnosed with colon cancer. Colon cancer prognosis is also influenced by the stage the disease has progressed to. The prognosis gives colon cancer patients an idea of what likely is the course and outcome of their disease. This guides colon cancer treatment plan, including lifestyle changes that patients can do to minimize their risks.


Stage 0 – Stage 0 is also known as Carcinoma in Situ. In this stage, the abnormal cells or cancer cells are found in the innermost lining of the colon.

Stage II- In stage 1 colon cancer, the abnormal cells that have formed in the inner tissue layer has spread beyond and into the middle layers of the colon wall. This stage is also known as Dukes A colon cancer.

Stage 2 – Stage 2 Colon Cancer, also called Dukes B colon cancer is divided into two:

Stage 2A is cancer that has spread from middle tissue layer to the nearby tissues around the colon and the rectum.

Stage 2B is colon cancer that has spread through the peritoneum and into nearby organs.

Stage 3 -Colon cancer stage 3 is also called Dukes C Colon Cancer and is divided into three stages.

Stage 3A involves the innermost layer of colon tissue, the middle layers and three or more lymph nodes.

Stage 3B involves 3 lymph nodes and has spread to middle tissue layers of the colon wall, the nearby tissues around the rectum, affecting nearby organs and the peritoneum.

Stage 3C colon cancer includes four or more lymph nodes, spreading from the middle layers of the colon tissue, the tissues around the colon and rectum, and nearby organs and through the peritoneum.

Stage 4 colon cancer is also called Dukes D colon cancer. Among all colon cancer stages, the fourth stage is the most lethal. Cancer cells have spread from nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body such as lungs or the liver.

It may be clear that a thorough diagnosis determining the Colon Cancer Stages is essential for the design of a taylored colon cancer treatment plan to give the patient the highest possible chance of survival.