Significant advances have been made in all aspects of care relating to colorectal cancer. Although surgery will likely remain the mainstay of definitive treatment for the majority of colorectal malignancies, a better understanding of tumor progression and biology will help guide the choice of surgical therapy to best achieve a curative resection. Additionally, advances in the use of neoadjuvant and adjuvant therapies should continue to increase disease-free and overall survival when combined with appropriate operative resection. Although TNM staging remains our strongest tool at this point for establishing prognosis and directing therapy, expansion of our knowledge of the molecular events underlying colorectal tumorigenesis undoubtedly will lead to the refinement of our current staging and prognostic systems.
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