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There is some hopeful news if you have been diagnosed with colon cancer: It is treatable if caught early. If you have colon cancer in your family, such as a parent or a sibling, the chances of inheriting this disease are less than 5%, while 95% of colorectal cancers are spontaneous and nongenetic, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). One of the best defenses against the disease is a regular colon screening. There are four stages of colon cancer, and each progression is associated with a worsening prognosis. If you are diagnosed with colon cancer, your treatment options vary depending on the stage.

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1. Stages 0 to 1

Surgery is the primary treatment for stages 0 and 1 colon cancer; physicians usually do not prescribe chemotherapy at this point. The objective of the operation is to extract cancerous polyps or tumors surrounding the healthy tissues. In stage 0, the cancer has not spread past the inner lining of the colon or to the lymph nodes. Three surgical treatments for stage 0 colon cancer are:

  • Polypectomy: removing cancerous polyps through a colonoscopy
  • Piecemeal: removing flat colon growths one piece at a time through a colonoscopy
  • Partial colectomy: removing part of the cancerous colon and nearby lymph nodes

If your doctors determine you are in stage 1, which indicates that the cancer did not spread beyond the colon, but developed deeper into the inner wall, a partial colectomy is recommended.

Colon Cancer stages
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