NCCN Guidelines for Patients™: Colon Cancer
and outcome of a disease
3.4 Stages of colon cancer
Colon cancer is divided into different groups called stages. Your cancer stage
is important for choosing your treatment and predicting your prognosis. There
are five stages. They are based on tumor growth within and beyond the colon,
number of nearby lymph nodes with cancer, and distant metastases. The physical
exams and tests described in Parts 2 and 3 will give your doctor the information
needed for staging.
Cancer doctors choose the criteria for each cancer stage by using information
from thousands of patients. Thus, a cancer stage gives an average prognosis.
It may not tell the outcome for one person. Some people will do better than
expected. Others will do worse. Other factors not used for staging cancer are
also very important. Some of these factors include your general health and if
gene mutation in the tumor.
This section has very specific information on colon cancer staging. Knowing your
cancer stage will help you use the treatment guide in Part 7. If you have any
questions, your cancer care team can further explain cancer staging.
Part 3: Tests of colon cancer