Rectal Cancer Staging – How Is The Stage Being Determined?

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Here’s what you should know about rectal cancer staging and other details of this condition.

RECTAL CANCER STAGING – Cancer staging is a process where the cancer’s location is being determined and if it has spread or affected other parts of the body.

Curable and somehow preventable is the rectal cancer. This cancer develops and begins in rectum – a part of the lower gastrointestinal tract. This is continuation of the sigmoid colon and is connected to the anus.

Rectal Cancer Staging
Photo lifted from Lippincott Nursing Center

People over 50 years old are likely to develop this but there’s also a possibility that adults and teens may get this.

Below are the stated common symptoms:

  • changes in bowel habits like constipation or diarrhea
  • changes in the shape of your stool (it becomes narrow-shaped)
  • there is blood in your stool
  • pelvic or lower abdominal pain
  • unexplained weight loss
  • exhaustion or you feel tired all the time

And this type of cancer, just like the others, have staging. The process of staging is done in order for doctors to figure out if the cancer cells have spread, how far it has spread, and whether if it has affected other organs.

Each stages describes how much cancer a person’s body already have.

In a post from Cleveland Clinic, below are the description of each stages:

Stage 0The cancer cells are at the surface of the rectal lining.
Stage 1The tumor grew below the lining and possibly into the rectal wall.
Stage 2The tumor is in the rectal wall and can possibly extend to the tissues of the rectum.
Stage 3The lymph nodes gets invaded by the tumor.
Stage 4The tumor became widespread reaching beyond distant lymph nodes or organs.

According to NIH, the following are risk factors of this disease:

  • family history of this particular disease
  • personal history of colon, rectum, or ovary cancer
  • high-risk adenomas or colorectal polyps
  • being alcoholic
  • smoking
  • obesity


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