Colon Cancer Home > Rectal Cancer Treatment by Stage

One of the factors affecting treatment decisions regarding rectal cancer is the stage (or extent) of the disease. For instance, what may be effective treatment for stage 0 rectal cancer may not be the best approach for treating later stages of the disease. The following article breaks down rectal cancer treatment by stage, from stage 0 through stage IV and recurrent cancer.

Rectal Cancer Treatment by Stage: An Overview

There are different types of rectal cancer treatment, including:
The rectal cancer treatment a doctor recommends will depend on a number of factors, including:
  • The stage of the cancer (see Rectal Cancer Stages
  • Whether the rectal cancer has recurred
  • The patient's general health.

Rectal Cancer Treatment: Stage 0 (Carcinoma in Situ)

Treatment of stage 0 rectal cancer (carcinoma in situ) may include the following types of surgery:
  • Local excision or simple polypectomy
  • Resection/anastomosis (performed when the cancerous tissue is too large to remove by local excision).
Additional treatment may include internal or external radiation therapy.

Rectal Cancer Treatment: Stage I

Treatment of stage I rectal cancer may include the following:
  • Surgery to remove the tumor, with or without anastomosis (joining the cut ends of the rectum)
  • Surgery to remove the tumor, with or without radiation therapy and chemotherapy
  • Internal or external radiation therapy.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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