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Colon Cancer – What’s the Prognosis?

By eHealthIQ
Reviewed: July 17, 2016

Cancer diagnoses are never easy to hear and a patient will have a range of questions. Different types of cancer require different approaches and have a range of outcomes. Colon cancer prognosis has some similarities and differences to other types of cancers.

Early Detection Is Key

Colon cancer prognosis, like most cancers, is largely dependent on early detection. If the cancer is detected in stages I and II, the odds are strongly in the patient’s favor. According to the National Cancer Institute, over 90% of patients diagnosed with stages I and II survive. By stage III, odds of successfully beating the disease have lessened slightly, but are still quite high at over 70%. Survival rates drop significantly by stage IV.

Don’t Be Dissuaded By Statistics

It is important to remember that colon cancer statistics are useful for researchers developing new treatments, but each and every patient is an individual. Oncologists and other physicians will develop a treatment plan for the patient based on their specific situation.

There are other factors that play a role in colon cancer prognosis, such as the patient’s age, their overall health, and how their body responds to treatment. A patient should never let statistics influence their motivation to fight, as individuals buck the odds often.

Treatment Affects Prognosis

The odds of beating colon cancer are much higher if the patient seeks early treatment. Depending on the individual conditions, treatment may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy.

New treatments, such as targeted therapy, and greater screening for early detection have drastically improved survival rates in recent years. According to government statistics, colon cancer diagnoses in the United States in 1983 were 63.7 per 100,000 people, with a death rate of 27.1 out 100,000 people. Fast forward just twenty years to 2013 and we see those numbers drop to a rate of 37.2 diagnosed and 14.5 deaths from colon cancer.

There Is Hope

As we can see from the statistics mentioned above, colon cancer prognosis has greatly improved thanks to medical advancements and regular screening. No matter what stage colon cancer is diagnosed with, a patient’s odds of survival are greater now than ever before.



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