Stage 2 bowel (colon and rectal) cancer has spread into the outer wall of the bowel or into tissue or organs next to the bowel. It has not spread to the lymph nodes or distant parts of the body.
Stage 2 is divided into 3 stages - 2A, 2B and 2C.
Stage 2A means that the cancer has grown into the outer lining of the bowel.
Stage 2B means that the cancer has grown through the outer lining of the bowel into the tissue layer (peritoneum) covering the organs in the tummy (abdomen).
Stage 2C means that the cancer has grown through the wall of the colon or rectum, into organs and tissues next to it.
The TNM staging system stands for Tumour, Node, Metastasis.
- T describes the size of the tumour
- N describes whether there are any cancer cells in the lymph nodes
- M describes whether the cancer has spread to a different part of the body
In the TNM staging system, stage 2A bowel cancer is the same as:
- T3, N0, M0.
Stage 2B is the same as:
- T4a, N0, M0.
Stage 2C bowel cancer is the same as:
- T4b, N0, M0.
Treatment for stage 2 large bowel (colon) cancer
You have surgery to remove your cancer.
Your surgeon might suggest chemotherapy after surgery if you are at higher risk of cancer coming back. This depends on the results of your surgery. Chemotherapy can lower the chance of your cancer coming back after surgery.
Treatment for stage 2 rectal cancer of the back passage (rectal cancer)
The main treatments are:
- chemotherapy combined with radiotherapy (chemoradiotherapy)
You might have:
- surgery as your only treatment, or followed by chemoradiotherapy if the risk of your cancer coming back is higher than the surgeon previously thought
- a short course of radiotherapy, followed by surgery
- a course of chemoradiotherapy, followed by surgery
Your doctor might offer you chemotherapy after surgery if you have a high risk of your cancer coming back.