NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Colon Cancer, Version 1.2014
Stages I (T2), II, and III colon cancer
Ongoing tests of CEA levels are mainly used to find
cancer recurrences. If your risk for recurrence is low,
your doctor may not order this test. CEA blood tests
should be done every 3 to 6 months for 2 years. If
results are normal for 2 years, get this test every 6
months for a total of 3 years.
CT scans may help find metastases. For stage II, you
should only receive a CT scan if you have a high risk
of recurrence. Scans of your chest, abdomen, and
pelvis are suggested each year for a maximum of 5
years if results are normal. CT should be done with
both IV and oral contrast. MRI (
maging) may be done if you can’t have CT. An MRI
uses radio waves and powerful magnets to make
A colonoscopy is also needed since your risk for
another tumor is high within 2 years after diagnosis.
You may never have had a colonoscopy of your entire
colon if your gut was blocked. If so, get your first
colonoscopy within 3 to 6 months after treatment. If you
had a colonoscopy before, get another test 1 year
Your second colonoscopy after treatment is based
on the initial results. However, colonoscopies may be
needed more often if you are younger than 50 years
old or have Lynch syndrome. If results are normal,
have your next colonoscopy in 3 years and then
every 5 years. If the test finds an advanced adenoma,
your next colonoscopy will be needed within 1 year.
Advanced adenomas include a villous polyp, a polyp
larger than the width of an AAA battery, or a polyp
with pre-cancerous cells.