At its earliest stage (stage 0), colon cancer is limited to the inner lining of your colon. As colon cancer progresses, it can grow through your colon and extend to nearby structures. The most advanced stage of colon cancer (stage IV) indicates cancer has spread to other areas of the body, such as the liver or lungs.
The stage refers to the extent of the cancer and how far it has spread. Staging colon cancer is essential to determine the best treatment approach. Colon cancer is typically staged based on a system established by the American Joint Committee on Cancer called the TNM staging system. The system considers the following factors:
After someone is diagnosed with colorectal doctors will try to figure out if it has spread, and if so, how far. This process is called staging. The stage of a cancer describes how much cancer is in the body. It helps determine how serious the cancer is and how best to treat it.