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Rectal Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)

Health Professional Version

Stage 0 Rectal Cancer

Standard Treatment Options for Stage 0 Rectal Cancer

Stage 0 rectal cancer or carcinoma in situ is the most superficial of all rectal lesions and is limited to the mucosa without invasion of the lamina propria.

Standard treatment options for stage 0 rectal cancer include the following:

Polypectomy or surgery

Local excision or simple polypectomy may be indicated for stage 0 rectal cancer tumors.[1] Because of its localized nature at presentation, stage 0 rectal cancer has a high cure rate. For large lesions not amenable to local excision, full-thickness rectal resection by the transanal or transcoccygeal route may be performed.

Current Clinical Trials

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage 0 rectal cancer. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.


  1. Bailey HR, Huval WV, Max E, et al.: Local excision of carcinoma of the rectum for cure. Surgery 111 (5): 555-61, 1992. [PUBMED Abstract]
  • Updated: January 20, 2015