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Colorectal cancer is the number one cause of morbidity and mortality among gastrointestinal tumors and is ranked number four after lung, breast, and ovarian cancers. Despite advancements in screening for early detection, colorectal cancer remains to be one of the deadliest cancers in the world. Every year, it is estimated that 600,000 people die of the condition. The chances of surviving colorectal cancer mainly depend on the stage of the disease. The most common staging for colorectal cancer is known as the TNM Classification of Malignant Tumors, or simply TNM.
Hospitals do well to invest in good equipment for the proper detection of the various stages of colorectal cancer. That means looking for a GE ultrasound distributor that offers the best equipment for the best price.
TNM is a cancer staging system used to describe disease extent and prognosis (or outlook), where T refers to the size of the original primary "Tumor"; N refers to the adjacent lymph "Nodes" that are affected; and M refers to "Metastasis" or the spread of cancer to other organs. Additionally, numbers that provide further information on the stage of the disease follow T, N, and M. Colorectal cancer has five stages:
- Stage 0 - Also known as "carcinoma in situ"; Here, the malignant cells are located only in the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Usually, the tumor is confined to the surface of a polyp.
- Stage I - Cancer cells lining the inner layers of the colon or rectum have spread into the middle layers of the muscular wall of the colon or rectum.
- Stage II - The tumor has spread to the outer surface of the colon or rectum, and may involve the surrounding tissues but not the lymph nodes.
- Stage III - Cancer cells has metastasized to the nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage IV - Cancer has spread to distant organs of the body, such as the liver or lungs.
Colorectal cancer staging is very important as it helps doctors identify the most appropriate treatment for the patient. Staging in colorectal cancer is established by several diagnostic procedures, including blood tests (to look for tumor markers), biopsies (analyzing tissue samples taken during a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy), CT scans, MRI scans, chest x-rays, ultrasound, and surgery. It's important to find a good GE ultrasound distributor to ensure clear results minus the glitches.
It's important to undergo regular checkups because when it comes to colorectal cancer staging, it is important to understand the difference between "clinical stage" and "pathologic stage". The clinical stage refers to the doctor's best estimate of the extent of the disease, based on the results of the physical exam, blood tests, biopsies, and imaging tests. If one has surgery, the doctor can also determine the pathologic stage, which is based on the same factors as the clinical stage, in addition to what is found as a result of the surgery.
Colorectal cancer staging determines how advanced the cancer is and whether it has spread to other tissues of the body, which is why it's important to learn more about it. The best thing about early detection is that there is a good chance of cure after successful surgical removal of the tumor. On the other hand, once the cancer has spread from the original site to the lymph nodes (stage III) or other distant tissues of the body (stage IV), treatment becomes more difficult and prognosis becomes poorer.