Rectal Cancer Stages
Once a person has been diagnosed with rectal cancer, the doctor needs to determine the stage of the cancer, or how far it has progressed. There are six rectal cancer stages: stages 0-IV and recurrent cancer. In the case of rectal cancer, stages I, II, III, and IV are also referred to as Dukes' A, B, C, and D rectal cancer, respectively. Tests used to determine the stage of rectal cancer include digital rectal exams, CT scans, and ultrasounds.
An Overview of Rectal Cancer Stages
If a biopsy shows that rectal cancer is present, the doctor needs to determine the stage of the cancer (how far it has progressed) to plan the best treatment. Rectal cancer stages are based on whether the tumor has invaded nearby tissues, whether the cancer has spread and, if so, to what parts of the body.