In situ (stage 0) colon cancer treatment


Colon cancer that has been diagnosed as Stage 0 (Tis, N0, M0) means that the cancer has been diagnosed at the earliest stage possible and that it has not grown further than the inner lining of the colon or the mucosa. Stage 0 colon cancer also can be referred to as “carcinoma in situ” or “intramucosal carcinoma.”

Since Stage 0 colon cancer has not grown spread beyond the mucosa section of the colon, treatment is typically limited to surgical removal of the tumor. Surgery often consists of a local excision made through a colonoscope. However, if the tumor is rather large in size, the portion of the affected colon may be removed and then the two remaining healthy portions of the colon are then reconnected.

About Staging

The stage of colon cancer at diagnosis, or the extent to which it is present in the body, is typically determined by a staging system developed by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) called the TNM System. Determining the stage of the colon cancer is one of the most vital factors in determining the most appropriate treatment options.

The AJCC TNM system evaluates the tumor based on the following criteria:

T Category
Describes the size of the primary tumor, which is measured in centimeters. The colon consists of several layers that form the wall of the colon, so it is important to know the extent of the growth into the wall of the intestine.
N Category
Whether or not the colon cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
M Category
Describes the absence or presence of distant metastasis, or spread of the cancer, to other organs.

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