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Colon cancer is fairly common, but also quite treatable if caught early. The sooner doctors discover the cancer, the better chance you have of recovering. One of your best defenses against the disease is regular colon checkups from your doctor. There are four stages of colon cancer, and each one is progressively worse. If you are diagnosed with colon cancer, your treatment options vary depending on the stage.

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1. Stages 0 and 1

Surgery is the primary recommendation for colon cancer at stages 0 and 1; doctors generally don't recommend chemotherapy at this level. The objective of the operation is to extract cancerous polyps or tumors surrounding the still-healthy tissues. The three surgical treatments for stage 0 colon cancer are:

  • Polypectomy: Removing cancerous polyps through a colonoscopy
  • Local excision: Removing flat colon growths known as "piecemeal" through a colonoscopy
  • Open abdominal surgery: Removing part of the cancerous colon and lymph nodes
  • If your doctors determine you are in stage 1, they will most likely recommend a colectomy, which is a resection, or laparoscopic colectomy, the same procedure using a laparoscope.

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    This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.