Stage 2 colon cancer is less advanced than Stage 3 and Stage 4. In this form of colon cancer the cancerous cells may have gone through the colon walls and into the neighboring tissue, but not spread into the lymph nodes. The cancerous tumors in stage 2 colon cancer are further categorized into two groups.
• Stage 2A: this stage is less advanced as the cancer may have spread through the layers of muscles and the walls of the colon to the tissues surrounding the rectum or colon.
• Stage 2B: this is a more advanced form of stage 2 colon cancer symptoms as the disease spreads to nearby organs such as the ovaries and the bladder. In this stage the tissues surrounding the abdominal organs may also be affected by cancer, but not the lymph nodes.
Stage 2 colon cancer was formerly known as Dukes B colon cancer and Stage 2A as Dukes B1 and stage 2B as Dukes B2. This form of cancer can be cured through surgery and chemotherapy is normally not required.
Stage 2 colon cancer treatment
Stage 2 colon cancer can be removed through a surgical procedure known as colectomy. The surgeon can reach the cancerous site through a large opening created in the abdomen, to enable him to remove the affected area along with the adjoining normal part of the colon and the surrounding lymph nodes. The two healthy ends of the dissected colon are then sutured or stapled together to resume normal bowel functions for the patient. Surgery can cure 60% to 75% of the patients.
If the surgeon feels that there is a high risk of the cancer recurring he may recommend adjuvant chemotherapy. This depends on certain factors, such as:
• A high grade cancer which looks abnormal when viewed under a microscope.
• Microsatellite instability is visible in the cancer.
• The nearby organs are affected by the cancer.
• The adjacent lymph nodes were not removed during surgery.
• If some cancer was left behind near the edge of the surgical specimen.
• If the colon was obstructed by the cancer.
• If the colon wall was perforated with the cancer.
There are several clinical trials of new drugs for stage 2 colon cancer to improve the treatment. Patients who participate in these clinical trials have access to modern treatment and other benefits.
Stage 2 colon cancer survival rate
Colon cancer survival rates for patients diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer are relatively higher than those diagnosed with stage 3 or stage 4 colon cancer. This is because the cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes. Normally about 90% of the patients can survive for more than five years after being diagnosed with this form of cancer. Anti cancer drugs through chemotherapy could reduce the recurrence of the disease. The doctor may have to conduct a genetic test to evaluate the effectiveness of chemotherapy on the individual’s particular form of cancer.
If a person is diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer treatment should not be delayed as the cancer can spread to the lymph nodes and turn into stage 3, which is a more advanced form of cancer. Patients should remember that it is easier to cure stage 2 colon cancer before it advances to another stage.