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Is rectal cancer fatal?

When rectal cancer is caught early, in Stage 0 or 1, it is rarely fatal. Treating cancer at these stages, before it has grown through the rectal wall, can be done during a colonoscopy, and, in many cases, you will not need additional treatment. However, once rectal cancer has grown through the rectal wall, chances of recovery begin to decrease. Many people still do recover at Stages 2 and 3, but by Stage 4, when cancer has spread to other organs, rectal cancer is often fatal. However, treatments are available to ease pain caused by the disease and to extend life, even at Stage 4 of rectal cancer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.