As compared to the colon cancer survival rates during the latter half of the twentieth century, now the figures have doubled, thanks to the advancements in medical research.
Colon cancer denotes malignancy of the large intestine or colon; and rectal cancer develops in the rectum, which consists of the last six to eight inches of the colon. Both these types are jointly termed colorectal cancer. In most cases, colon cancer develops as benign polyps, that turn malignant with time. While colon cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in the world, the survival rates have also increased steadily through the years. The past 20 years have witnessed a rapid hike in this rate, which is attributed to the advanced methods of diagnosis and treatment.
Colon cancer survival rate is a comparative study of the people affected by this condition, through the years. These figures do not provide a definite answer regarding the life expectancy of a colon cancer patient, but offer information regarding patients in similar circumstances. These figures provide a rough idea about what may happen to an affected person, based on what has happened to patients in similar conditions.
Stages of Colon Cancer
Like any other type of cancer, the survival rate in case of colon cancer also depends on the stage of cancer growth, during diagnosis. The survival rate is inversely proportional to the stage of cancer growth. If the cancer is detected during its early stages, the rate of survival is higher and vice versa. The American Cancer Society has given the following figures as colon cancer survival rates. If the diagnosis reveals a stage 1 cancer, the survival rate is 74%. It will drop to 67% for a stage 2A colon cancer; 59% for stage 2B; 37% for stage 2C; 73% for stage 3A; 46% for stage 3B, 28% for stage 3C; and 6% for stage 4. It has been observed that some of the stage 3 colon cancers have a better survival rate than some stage 2 cancers.
Colon cancer survival rates provided by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute are as follows: 40% for localized colon cancer, 36% for regional stage, 20% for distant stage, and 5% for unknown stage. The localized stage denotes cancer confined to the primary site, and those spread to the regional lymph nodes are classified as regional stage. If the cancer spreads to other parts, the condition is classified as distant stage.
CancCancer Locationer Location
Colon cancer survival rates are also affected by the location of the malignant tumor. Studies were conducted in the United States among colon cancer patients, who were alive for five years after the initial diagnosis. According to these studies, the five-year survival rate for tumors in the ascending colon (closest to small intestine) is 63%. The same rate for transverse colon is 59%, and for descending colon, it is 66%. The transverse colon is the horizontal portion of the large intestine, which succeeds the ascending colon. The descending colon comes after the transverse colon and ends with the rectum.
It has been suggested that, regular exercises can have an impact on the survival rate of colon cancer patients. Moderate exercises are recommended by health experts. Another speculation is that a diet rich in vitamin D is beneficial for increasing colon cancer survival rates. So, patients with high levels of vitamin D, are likely to survive longer than those with low vitamin D levels. These studies suggest the intake of vitamin D supplements for people affected with colon cancer. Another study related to colon cancer recommends the intake of aspirin to prevent colon cancer. Intake of aspirin reduces the risk of colon polyps and anal fissures, which may turn malignant, at a later stage.
It is a proven fact that colon cancer survival rates have escalated due to the advanced methods of screening and latest treatments. But you can curtail the risk of colon cancer by adopting a healthy lifestyle and diet. Moreover, rule out the possibility of colon cancer through regular screening. This is more applicable to those, who are above the age of 40.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.