The spread of colon cancer helps determine the life expectancy of the affected person. This article provides information regarding the same.
Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer or large bowel cancer, may affect the colon, appendix, and rectum. Normally, it is caused due to polyps in the colon. Not all polyps are malignant; however, some of them may become cancerous after a particular period of time. Therefore, the polyps can be seen as the early symptoms of this condition. This cancer grows very slowly, and therefore the symptoms may not be seen for a very long period of time.
People with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis are at an increased risk of this condition. Exposure to industrial cancer causing substances can also lead to this problem. It can also be caused due to the mutation of certain inherited genes.
The prognosis is done by finding out the stages of cancer, which are as follows:
In this stage, the polyps become malignant and affect the innermost lining of the colon. However, the tumor can be surgically removed. Also, the life expectancy is high in this stage.
In this stage, the disease spreads out of the inner lining through the next layers, and comes closer to the inside wall of the colon. It however, does not make its way to the outer wall or affect any other part. In this stage, the tumor can be removed. The survival rate in this stage is as high as 93%.
In this stage, the cancer makes its way through the muscular colon wall; however, the lymph nodes are not affected yet. The tumor can be surgically removed in this stage. Chemotherapy can be performed to minimize the recurrence of the cancer. The stage II life expectancy is at 78% for five years.
In this stage, the cancer has made its way out of the colon area. A couple of lymph nodes may also be affected. In some cases, the lymph nodes inside the colon may be affected while in other cases, the lymph nodes outside the colon may be affected. The condition may become more serious if more than four lymph nodes are affected with this condition. Surgery may be performed to remove the tumors. The lymph nodes may also be removed. Normally, the surgery is followed up with chemotherapy. If required, radiation therapy would also be used if tumor was large in size and has affected the surrounding tissues in the colon.
This is the most critical stage. The prognosis depends on how much of the colon is affected, the parts of the body affected with cancer, etc. Often, the disease spreads to the liver or to the lungs. The size of the tumor can vary. The lymph nodes may not necessarily be affected with the disease. The survival rate depends on the spread of the disease. At the same time, the affected organs also have a role to play in deciding the life expectancy.
The first step in treatment for stage 4 cancer is surgery. The part of the affected colon may be removed. The surgery may be followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy. However, the decision is made depending on, which of the lymph nodes are affected with cancer. The survival rate is estimated at 8 to 15% for about 5 years.
The stage 4 colon cancer prognosis is the worst of all the stages. The life expectancy decreases when the disease has spread to other parts of the body, and also when the lymph nodes affected.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.