Stage IV

illustration of stage IV colorectal cancer in the body

What is stage IV colorectal cancer?

In stage IV (metastatic) colorectal cancer, the cancer has been carried through the lymph and blood systems to distant parts of the body. The most likely organs to develop metastasis from colorectal cancer are the lungs and liver.

Colon cancer

Stage IV colon cancer is divided into three categories.

Rectal cancer

Stage IV rectal cancer is divided into three categories.

doctor speaking to couple

Treatment for stage IV colorectal cancer

Stage IV colorectal cancer treatment may include any of the following:

  • Surgery to remove or reduce the size of the cancer in the colon or rectum, or to remove cancer that has grown on other organs, such as the liver, lungs, prostate, or ovaries.
  • Radiation or chemotherapyto relieve symptoms as part of palliative care.
  • Targeted therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Clinical trials
cancer cells round blue

Cancer that has spread to the liver

The liver is the most common site of metastasis in patients with colorectal cancer, due to the blood supply that exists between the large intestine and the liver.

There are a number of therapies that use chemotherapy, ablation, radiation,cryotherapy, and other approaches to reduce or remove liver metastases.

Many of these therapies are minimally invasive and have a short recovery time.

First steps

A stage IV (metastatic) colorectal cancer diagnosis can leave you with many questions. Here are some first steps to consider.

Your emotional health

Just as cancer affects your physical health, it can bring up a wide range of emotions you’ve never faced before.

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