Excerpts from a chat on colon cancer

Jose (Chicago, Illinois) – 12:18 PM:
What are the different stages of colon cancer?

Dr. Manoj Mehta
There are a number of staging systems, but generally 1-4 would be a traditional scale. Stage 1 is confined to the colon lining, 2 and 3 deeper through the lining, and 4 spread to distant organs. It is important to realize that colorectal cancer screeing via colonoscopy is really a misnomer. We are not looking for colon cancer, which implies a late finding. We are looking for polyps which are the precursors of colon cancer. By removing polyps, we can prevent cancers. I think “colorectal cancer test” implies you either have it or don’t, and many people (understandably) don’t want to know if they have it anyway. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and why I think the term cancer screening is a poor one in this instance.

See the full online chat record here.

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