Colorectal Cancer – Types & Stages

Types & Stages of Colorectal Cancer

At Orange County CyberKnife, we’re proud to provide world-class cancer treatments from our state-of-the-art cancer treatment center, helping patients throughout the greater Orange County area beat cancer without colorectal cancer surgery. We treat a wide variety of cancerous conditions, including any stage of the colon or rectal cancer.

Colorectal Polyps

Colon cancerGenerally, colorectal cancers don’t begin as a cancerous tumor – instead, they form as a precancerous growth called a polyp that forms anywhere along the inner lining of the colon or the rectum. While all polyps are serious and can turn into cancer, not all will. The chances of a polyp morphing into cancer depend on whether it is either of the following types:

  • Adenomatous Polyps (Adenomas): This type of polyp is always classified as a precancerous condition, and these polyps carry a strong likelihood of changing into cancer.
  • Hyperplastic Polyps (Inflammatory Polyps): This is the more common form of a colorectal polyp, but these polyps are generally not precancerous and will not morph into cancer.

Another precancerous condition is dysplasia, which is an area either in a polyp or directly on the lining of the colon or rectum where the cells look abnormal under a microscope but are not yet true cancer cells. Like adenomatous polyps, dysplasia always carries a risk of turning into cancer.

Colorectal Cancer

The colorectal wall is made of several layers, and both polyps and colorectal cancers start in the innermost layer (the mucosa). From there, they may grow through some or all of the outer layers. Once cancer cells penetrate the colorectal wall, they may grow into blood vessels or into lymph vessels. This process of spreading is called metastasis. Similar to many other forms of cancer, the severity of colorectal cancer is evaluated using a system of four stages based on three main factors:

  • T: The size of the tumor
  • N: Whether or not the tumor has spread to lymph nodes
  • M: Whether or not the tumor has metastasized to distant parts of the body

The larger the tumor and the more it has spread, the higher the stage. Your doctor will perform a number of tests to determine the stage of the disease and determine the best colorectal cancer treatment.


Schedule a Consultation with Your Radiation Therapy Center

Colorectal cancer is serious at any stage, and even precancerous polyps should be treated as quickly as possible. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with polyps or colorectal cancer, Orange County CyberKnife is here to help. As a leading radiation therapy clinic, we’ve helped countless patients beat colorectal cancer and many other conditions without invasive surgery, helping them return to a healthy, normal life as quickly as possible. Call us today at 714-962-7100  or reach out online for a consultation.