Colorectal Cancer Staging

Staging is a way to describe the extent or severity of a person’s cancer. It is based on the extent of the primary tumor and how much the tumor has spread. Staging is an important step:

  • Helps your physician team plan your treatment
  • Can be used to help predict outcomes
  • Can pinpoint clinical trials for which a patient may be eligible

Stage 0

Abnormal cells are found in the innermost lining of the colon or rectum. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue. Stage 0 is also called carcinoma in situ.

Stage I

Cancer has formed and spread beyond the innermost tissue layer of the colon or rectum wall to the middle layers. Stage I colon cancer is sometimes called Dukes A colon cancer.

Stage II

Colon cancer is divided into stage IIA and stage IIB. Stage II colon cancer is sometimes called Dukes B colon cancer.

  • Stage IIA cancer has spread beyond the middle tissue layers of the colon or rectum wall or has spread to nearby tissues around the colon or rectum. 
  • Stage IIB cancer has spread beyond the colon or rectum wall into nearby organs and/or through the peritoneum.

Stage III

Colon cancer is divided into stage IIIA, stage IIIB and stage IIIC. Stage III colon cancer is sometimes called Dukes C colon cancer.

  • Stage IIIA cancer has spread from the innermost tissue layer of the colon or rectum wall to the middle layers and has spread to as many as three lymph nodes
  • Stage IIIB cancer has spread to as many as three nearby lymph nodes and has spread: 
    • Beyond the middle tissue layers of the colon or rectum wall
    • To nearby tissues around the colon or rectum
    • Beyond the colon or rectum wall into nearby organs and/or through the peritoneum
  • Stage IIIC: Cancer has spread to four or more nearby lymph nodes and has spread:
    • To or beyond the middle tissue layers of the colon or rectum wall
    • To nearby tissues around the colon or rectum
    • To nearby organs and/or through the peritoneum.

Stage IV

Cancer may have spread to nearby lymph nodes and has spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver or lungs. Stage IV colon cancer is sometimes called Dukes D colon cancer.

Appointments

For colorectal cancer treatment:

  • 414-805-0505
Request AppointmentView Treatment Team

Locations

Clinical Cancer Center, Froedtert Hospital 9200 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53226

Cancer Network