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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Please define the different stages of bowel cancer.

    I have no idea of the difference of stage 2 and stage 4. I have bowel cancer but have no idea of what stage. Can the stages change during treatment if it is successful. Thanks
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Bowel Cancer Australia is the leading community-funded charity dedicated to prevention, early diagnosis, research, quality treatment and care for everyone affected by bowel cancer. We … View Profile

    Thank you for your question regarding the staging of Bowel Cancer. As explained in detail in the following link to the Bowel Cancer Australia website

    The stage of your cancer takes into consideration the size of your tumour, its position within the bowel and whether or not it has spread to other areas of the body. 
    Stage 1 or A refers to the cancer being confined to the inside of the bowel wall. 
    Stage 2 or B refers to the cancer having started to spread thru the bowel wall. 
    Stage 3 or C means the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the area of the bowel. 
    Stage 4 or D refers to the cancer having spread to other organs within the body, most commonly with bowel cancer it is the liver and / or lung which can become effected. We also call this stage (metastatic bowel cancer). 
    In answer to your question regarding the stages changing during treatment, the answer is YES they can. With treatment and surgery, these stages can change and will be determined during follow up tests in assessing your progress.  

    I hope this helps to answer your question, and for further information regarding Bowel Cancer diagnosis please go to the following link

    We hope this helps to answer your questions.

    Kind regards
    The patient services team 

    Please feel free to contact us anytime for individualised advice at: 

    Bowel Cancer Australia Nutrition Adviser -


    Bowel Cancer Australia Nurse Adviser -

    Please Note: The information provided by Bowel Cancer Australia’s Nurse and Nutritionist Advisory Services is intended for Australian residents as a reference guide only. It is not a substitute for independent professional advice and is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or disorder. 

    If you believe your symptoms are consistent with those of bowel cancer or a digestive illness, please consult your doctor. 

    Bowel Cancer Australia, its directors, officers or medical professionals shall not be liable to any person, company or any other body for any loss, direct or indirect or consequential on whatsoever account for any omission or negligent misstatement.

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