Rectal Cancer (cont.)
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How Do Doctors Determine Rectal Cancer Staging?
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The treatment and prognosis of rectal cancer depend on the stage of the cancer, which is determined by the following three considerations:
There are several ways to stage rectal cancer; Duke's classification (the first system to stage rectal cancers), Stage system I-IV, and the TNM classification (TNM represents T, the location of the tumor; N, the nodes [lymph nodes] invaded by tumor cells, and M, metastasis of tumor cells to other organs). The TNM classification is very detailed; many doctors choose to use the more simplified I-IV stages. This article will present this system. In general, all the classifications or stage systems describe the same process of cancer development.
The stages of rectal cancer are as follows:
Localized rectal cancer includes stages I-III. Metastatic rectal cancer is stage IV. The goals of treating localized rectal cancer are to ensure the removal of all the cancer and to prevent a recurrence of the cancer, either near the rectum or elsewhere in the body.
Last Reviewed 9/11/2017
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