With a disease like cancer, the life expectancy is heavily influenced by the stage at which it was detected. Early detection, followed by prompt treatment increases the life expectancy, whereas late detection decreases the chances of survival.
Determining the life expectancy after being diagnosed with colon cancer depends on several factors. Primarily, early detection goes a long way in increasing the chances of survival. Secondly, a patient’s lifestyle choices will also have a definite role to play in increasing the lifespan.
- Colon cancer detected at the first stage has five-year survival chances of more than 90%. At this stage, the cancerous growth is not spread to the outer colon or lymph nodes.
- The five-year survival rates drop to around 85% to 75% at the second stage. This stage sees the cancer spread to the tissues lining the colon.
- In the third stage, the cancer spreads in the colon and the lymph nodes surrounding it. The five-year survival rate is 65% to 45%.
- Stage four cancer sees the disease spread to the organs surrounding the colon. The survival chances are less than 10%.
An Overview of Colon Cancer
Colon cancer is characterized by cancerous growth in the colon, appendix, and the rectum. In the US, colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer among male patients and the fourth most common in female patients. Recently, there has been an increase in the occurrence of colon cancer, and the statistics paint a grave picture.
The basic challenge with this disease is that its symptoms are often misunderstood, which leads to a delay in the diagnosis. As mentioned before, the key lies in detecting the presence of the cancer early so as to begin the treatment at the earliest. The general symptoms of this disease, however, can be misleading. They are,
- Stomach pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rectal bleeding
- Drastic weight loss
It is recommended that you consult your doctor at the earliest if you notice any of these symptoms, or feel unusually tired. People who’ve had a history of colon cancer in their family are more at risk of getting this disease. Smokers and those suffering from Crohn’s disease are also considered to be more prone to it. Ulcerative colitis is also an indication of colon cancer.
Increasing the Life Expectancy
Any occurrence of colon cancer in the family puts you at a risk, which means that regular screenings are a must for you. Remember that early detection, followed by the right course of treatment will definitely increase your chances of survival. There are several factors that have a role to play when it comes to determining the life expectancy. The occurrence of this disease has been observed to be higher in people above the age of 65. Treatment options get complicated as one ages, and this factor has a negative impact on the survival statistics. It is very important that the patient builds his/her immune system in order to combat this disease better. The doctor advises the patient to follow a strict diet and exercise regimen, which helps the patient respond positively to the treatment.
Remember that early detection goes a long way in successfully combating colon cancer. Once you’ve crossed the age of 50 it is advised that you go for annual screenings to rule out the possibility of this disease striking you.