How long do you live if you have colon cancer?

Posted 4 years ago in LIFESTYLE.

A general myth about cancer is that it is a terminal disease. Being diagnosed with cancer can be devastating news to many, as most people think they are very less chances of survival.

How long do you live if you have colon cancer?

 This is not true. The prognosis and life expectancy of a cancer depends on several medical and individual factors. The cancer can develop in any part of the body and when it starts in the colon region, it is known as colon cancer. It is known as colorectal cancer when the cancer starts in the colon or rectum. There are a number of diagnostic tests that are conducted to determine if the person has colon cancer and what is the stage. Based on the results from these tests, the cancer specialists will form a treatment plan for the individual. It commonly includes surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. The colorectal cancer treatment in India is offered at the top hospitals with advanced medical care services. These hospitals are multi specialty tertiary and quaternary care centers that are accredited by several national and international organization for their quality of facilities. People from different parts of the world travel to India for cancer treatment with the latest technology.

Colon cancer survival rate are complex and based on several factors. The five year survival rate for colon cancer is around 63%. Some factors that may affect colon cancer prognosis, according to the National Cancer Institute, include:

Stage: The cancer stage refers to the extent of it’s spread. In general, a localized colon cancer with no spread to the lymph nodes or other organs is more likely to have better outcome compared to stage of cancer where it has spread to other parts of the body.

Grade: The grade shows how close a cancer cell look to a normal cell. The cancer is of higher grade if the cells look more abnormal. A low-grade cancer is more likely to have a better outcome.

Involvement of lymph node: Our body’s lymph system helps in eliminating the waste material. The cancer cells can travel from their place of origin to the surrounding lymph nodes. The more lymph nodes affected by cancer, the higher are the chances of cancer’s return.

Overall health of the patient: The general health of the patient is an important factor as it affects their ability to tolerate a specific treatment. It may also play a role in the final outcome. If the person is healthier at the time of diagnosis, they will have better chances of dealing with treatment and its side effects.

Blockage in the colon: Colon cancer can lead to a blockage in the colon as it grows through the wall of colon and create a hole in the bowel. This may also affect the outcome of treatment. 

Carcinoembryonic antigen(CEA):  This antigen is a protein present in the blood. The CEA levels in blood can increase when a person has colon cancer. The presence of CEA during the time of diagnosis may affect the patient will respond to treatment.

Colon cancer statistics

Currently the fourth most common cancer, colorectal cancer is one of the leading cause for cancer related deaths.

With the advancement in cancer treatment technology, the outlook for people with colon cancer has improved over the last several years. The mortality rate for colon cancer patients have remarkably decreased by almost 30 percent.

The five-year survival rates refers to the percentage of people having the same type and stage of cancer, who are still alive after 5 years since they were diagnosed.

For colon cancer, this is generally based on the stage. 

A multidisciplinary team of doctor are involved in the treatment of cancer. They recommend a customized treatment plan for every individual with colon cancer. Every person may respond to a particular treatment differently, depending on various factors.

The survival rates for cancer are complex and often confusing. It can be even upsetting for many people. Following are the five-year relative survival rates for different cancer groups:

Localized: This refers to the cancer that remains limited to the part of the body where it initially originated.

Survival rate - 90 percent. 

Regional: This refers to cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Survival rate - 71 percent. 

Distant: This refers to the cancer that has spread to distant parts of the body and is typically known as metastatic cancer.

Survival rate - 14 percent

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