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Colorectal cancer

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Treatments for stage 0 rectal cancer

The following are treatment options for stage 0 rectal cancer. Your healthcare team will suggest treatments based on your needs and work with you to develop a treatment plan.


Surgery is the standard treatment for stage 0 rectal cancer. Local excision is usually done to remove the tumour and a small amount of tissue around it. This surgery is often done during a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy with a polypectomy. Local transanal excision may be used for small tumours in the rectum that are close to the anus. Sometimes more surgery is needed to remove any cancer left behind or if cancer cells are found in the tissues removed with the tumour (called positive surgical margins).

A bowel resection may be done if the tumour is too large to be removed by local excision. Depending on the location of the tumour, the surgeon may do a low anterior resection or abdominoperineal resection.

Clinical trials

You may be asked if you want to join a clinical trial for rectal cancer. Find out more about clinical trials.


Researcher Dr Sohrab Shah Dr Sohrab Shah helped discover more than 100 new suspected cancer genes.

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Facing the financial burden of cancer

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The Canadian Cancer Society provides helpful information about government income programs, financial resources and other resources available to families struggling to make sense of the personal financial burden they face.

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