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Bowel cancer
3 stages: prognosis and treatment methods

According to statistics, colorectal cancer is one of the most common. Due to the fact that the symptoms of the disease are not too pronounced or similar to other diseases, specialists most often detect the tumor at stage 3 of development. In the article we will talk about the characteristic signs of the disease, as well as treatment methods and prognoses for patients.

Что такое рак кишечника 3 стадия ?

Colorectal cancer is the general name for a group of tumor diseases that develop from mutated epithelial cells lining the intestinal wall. This category includes malignant neoplasms such as colon cancer, sigmoid tumor and rectal cancer.
Experts distinguish 4 stages of disease development. 3rd degree What is stage 3 colon cancer? – this is the stage of the disease, which is characterized by such symptoms as:
The spread of the tumor not only to the intestinal walls, but also to the muscle layer, as well as neighboring tissues and organs.
Formation of metastases in nearby lymph nodes (so-called regional).
In 75% of cases, a form of cancer occurs, such as adenocarcinoma. Less commonly diagnosed are squamous cell, medullary, small cell and several other types of undifferentiated malignant neoplasms. Depending on the characteristics of tumor development, experts distinguish the following subtypes of oncology:
exophytic, shape and appearance resembling polyps and growths in the intestinal lumen;
endophytic, growing deep into the intestinal tissue (epithelium, muscles);
Clinically, intestinal oncology stages 3 and 4 manifest themselves in the following forms:
Toxic-anemic. It is expressed in general intoxication of the body and a decrease in the level of red blood cells and hemoglobin in the blood. A combination of factors significantly worsens the patient’s general condition. As a rule, symptoms are characteristic of tumors that develop on the right side of the intestine.
Enterocolitis, reminiscent of gastrointestinal disorders. This form is characterized by constipation or diarrhea, bloating and frequent pain. The reason, as a rule, lies in the fact that tumor tissue narrows the lumen in the intestine and interferes with the waste of feces.
Pseudoinflammatory, in which the patient experiences pain due to inflammation in the peritoneum. Characteristic symptoms are fever, as well as an increased level of leukocytes in the blood.
Dyspeptic, which is expressed in the form of bloating, pain and discomfort, as well as constant problems with bowel movements.
Obstructive, characteristic of cancer of the left side of the intestine. The symptoms are similar to intestinal obstruction.
Atypical or tumor. The symptoms are not clearly expressed, but the doctor detects the disease itself by palpation of the abdomen, followed by laboratory confirmation of suspicions.
Complicated, expressed in complete blocking of the intestinal lumen, the formation of areas with perforation of the walls, as well as bleeding and inflammatory processes in the peritoneum.

Cancer Risk Factors

Experts name the following risk factors for developing cancer:
  • heredity;
  • smoking and excessive alcohol consumption;
  • the formation of polyps in the intestines, prone to degeneration from a benign to a malignant tumor
  • poor dietary habits, including consumption of large amounts of unhealthy foods (high in preservatives, pigments, flavors and other carcinogens), a minimum of fiber, vegetables and fruits;
  • frequent constipation, disorders;
  • overweight and age over 50 years;
  • immunodeficiency conditions (congenital or acquired);
  • inflammatory processes such as intestinal ulcers, Crohn's disease, juvenile polyposis, colitis, etc.

Oncology stage 3 intestines: symptoms and characteristic complications

Paradoxical as it may seem, the clinical picture does not always make it possible to understand how the disease develops and what stage it is at. In the early stages, symptoms of cancer are usually absent. The process of growth of a malignant neoplasm in one of the intestinal sections can last up to several years. Specific signs characterizing the localization of the disease appear already at stage 3. And the first symptoms may be:
  • problems with stool, flatulence, bloating;
  • pain, spasms;
  • deterioration of the patient's general condition;
  • pathological discharge from the anus;
  • weakness, weight loss.
  • Gradually, the clinical picture worsens, more serious signs of a grade 3 tumor appear:
  • intestinal obstruction;
  • perforation of the intestinal walls;
  • anemia;
  • dyspnea;
  • ascites (fluid accumulation in the peritoneum);
  • peritoneal carcinomatosis;
  • metastases to nearby lymph nodes.
At this stage, the tumor can be identified by simple palpation of the abdominal wall. However, a more thorough examination is necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
Colorectal cancer is characterized not only by the development of purulent-inflammatory complications. Metastasis also has negative consequences depending on its location. For example, due to the formation of metastases in the liver, jaundice develops, when the lungs are damaged, shortness of breath and cough appear, etc.

Diagnosis of colorectal cancer

To diagnose the presence and stage of the disease, to find out whether surgery for stage 3 intestinal cancer is needed, a comprehensive diagnosis is required. Stage 3 colon cancer is determined using complex diagnostics.
The first stage is an examination of the patient, which allows identifying a malignant tumor in 40% of cases. The following are assigned:
  1. Laboratory tests of blood and stool.
  2. Rectoscopy or total colonoscopy, necessary for visual assessment of the condition of the intestines, as well as taking samples for histological studies. In some cases, the technique allows, if necessary, to stop bleeding or install a stent to improve intestinal patency.
  3. Ultrasound and scintigraphy to identify secondary lesions.
  4. CT and MRI to identify tumor location, metastases, and degree of disease progression.
Thus, a comprehensive examination allows you to accurately diagnose and develop a treatment plan.

Treatment of colorectal cancer stage 3

So, the diagnosis has been made - intestinal cancer. The operation, survival prognosis, possible relapses - the oncologist will tell the patient about all this. But first of all, he will offer the following available treatment methods: surgery, drug treatment, radiotherapy.

Surgical intervention

This is the main method that allows you to radically remove the tumor focus. If the neoplasm is minimally invasive, the surgeon can perform the operation endoscopically. For more extensive lesions, removal or resection of a section of the intestine about 30-40 cm long, as well as regional lymph nodes, is performed. Subsequently, tissue samples are sent for examination, which allows the treatment tactics to be adjusted by adding radiation or chemotherapy.
Sometimes not one, but several operations are required.
At the first stage, the tumor is removed and a colomostoma is formed to drain feces. Next, after completing the necessary treatment measures, the surgeon reconstructs the intestine to restore its continuity.
Resection can cure bowel cancer relatively quickly. Survival after surgery depends on many factors, but on average, doctors manage to achieve a 5-year survival rate in 50-70% of cases. If radical treatment is contraindicated, the prognosis does not exceed 10%.


Drug treatment for colon cancer is offered after or before surgery. If a patient is diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer, so-called adjuvant chemotherapy is prescribed after surgery, which helps prevent relapses. In addition, it is necessary when:
detection of metastases;
  • detection of poorly differentiated tumors
  • spread of the disease to all layers of the intestine;
  • detection of cells of malignant etiology in the edges of a removed section of intestine after resection.
Non-adjuvant chemotherapy, administered before surgery, is prescribed for:
  • reducing the area of the lesion;
  • stopping tumor development;
  • treatment of unresectable cancer.
As a rule, non-adjuvant therapy is prescribed not once, but in several courses. After completion, a re-examination is carried out to assess the effectiveness of therapy and adjust the treatment plan.
Unfortunately, although chemotherapy is effective in treating cancer, it is far from harmless. Due to the medications used, both tumor and healthy cells die. In addition, the list of side effects is very wide, ranging from upset of the digestive system to decreased immunity.

Targeted therapy

Targeted medications act in a special way - they selectively destroy and slow down the growth of tumor cells. This type of therapy is prescribed after a series of special tests that identify a specific group of mutations in cancer at stages 2, 3 or 4. Otherwise, the treatment will be ineffective.
Targeted therapy perfectly complements all other treatment methods and can significantly increase the patient’s life expectancy. It is applied for:
  • stabilization of the tumor development process, its transformation from an aggressive form to a chronic one;
  • reducing the load on the body during radiotherapy and chemotherapy;
  • relapse prevention.

Radiation therapy

Radiotherapy is used as part of complex therapy most often in the treatment of cancer localized in the rectum. The reason is simple: the fact is that other parts of the intestine are characterized by pronounced physiological mobility. Because of this, it is almost impossible to clearly position the lesion for radiation treatment.
Radiation therapy allows you to destroy malignant tumor cells and disrupt the blood supply to the tumor. It is also used for palliative purposes for the treatment of secondary lesions - metastases.

Colon cancer stage 3: survival and rehabilitation

The mechanisms for treating colorectal cancer have been developed, and doctors give optimistic predictions of survival with radical treatment - at least 50% in a five-year period.
After completion of treatment, the doctor usually makes recommendations on the following parameters:
Restoration of organ function after drug treatment.
Diet (normalization of eating behavior, increased consumption of vegetables and fruits, as well as other foods high in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants).
Physical activity (frequent walks, gentle exercise).
Recommended timing of re-examinations.
The last one is especially important. The thing is that during the first 3 years, patients remain at risk of developing a relapse. Therefore, to increase the chances of survival, patients should be regularly examined:
for 2 years after surgery - every 2-3 months.
for 4-6 years after surgery - every six months.
In the future, it is enough to be examined once a year and undergo a colonoscopy every 2 years. If pathologies are detected, the attending physician may prescribe additional examination methods (CT, ultrasound, etc.).

Prevention of intestinal cancer

Experts recommend that people over 50 years of age undergo an annual intestinal examination (colonoscopy, etc.) to detect the disease in the early stages. General preventive measures include:
  • Normalization of eating habits. In particular, increased consumption of vegetables and fruits, lean meats, cereals and fish is recommended. At the same time, it is necessary to minimize the content of fatty, spicy, smoked and other unhealthy foods in the diet.
  • Moderate physical activity, maintaining normal body weight.
  • Quitting drinking alcohol and smoking.
  • Timely treatment of chronic intestinal diseases.
  • Minimizing stress.


Stage 3 colon cancer is not a death sentence and almost every patient has a chance of recovery. Therapy methods are being improved, new, innovative techniques are being discovered. OncoCare Clinic 308 offers a unique antitumor technique - cytokinogenetic therapy. Thanks to CGT, thousands of patients were able to avoid serious complications and get a chance to live a normal life. You can find out more about the method, treatment and examination protocols by calling +7 (495) 104-37-09.

Author of the article:

Aleksanyan Aleksan Zavenovich

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