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The type of treatment you will receive for your
colorectal cancer depends on what stage it is in.
Staging is a process doctors use to describe how far the cancer has
Although there are several methods of staging, most doctors now use
the TNM method. The TNM method is based on the size of the tumor (T), the
spread of the cancer into nearby lymph nodes (N), and the spread of the cancer
to other body parts (M, for metastasis). Some doctors still use an older method
of staging called Dukes.
Let's say your doctor has told you your cancer is at stage II. In the
table below, find the column labeled "Stage." Now go down to the row
labeled "II." In the columns to the right are the TNM staging system. You can find a description of each TNM label in the table above.
The Dukes staging system is shown in the far right column. This lists the stages as A, B, C, and D. The
Dukes stages A through D are the same as TNM stages I through IIIC.
August 27, 2012
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kenneth Bark, MD - Surgery, Colon and Rectal
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