Send to

Choose Destination
World J Gastroenterol. 2013 Dec 14;19(46):8468-73. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i46.8468.

Early stage colon cancer.

Author information

Hugh James Freeman, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver V6T 1W5, Canada.


Evidence has now accumulated that colonoscopy and removal of polyps, especially during screening and surveillance programs, is effective in overall risk reduction for colon cancer. After resection of malignant pedunculated colon polyps or early stage colon cancers, long-term repeated surveillance programs can also lead to detection and removal of asymptomatic high risk advanced adenomas and new early stage metachronous cancers. Early stage colon cancer can be defined as disease that appears to have been completely resected with no subsequent evidence of involvement of adjacent organs, lymph nodes or distant sites. This differs from the clinical setting of an apparent "curative" resection later pathologically upstaged following detection of malignant cells extending into adjacent organs, peritoneum, lymph nodes or other distant sites, including liver. This highly selected early stage colon cancer group remains at high risk for subsequent colon polyps and metachronous colon cancer. Precise staging is important, not only for assessing the need for adjuvant chemotherapy, but also for patient selection for continued surveillance. With advanced stages of colon cancer and a more guarded outlook, repeated surveillance should be limited. In future, novel imaging technologies (e.g., confocal endomicroscopy), coupled with increased pathological recognition of high risk markers for lymph node involvement (e.g., "tumor budding") should lead to improved staging and clinical care.


Colon cancer; Follow-up and surveillance of early colon cancer; Nodal micrometastases; Node-negative colon cancer; Staging of colon cancer

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center