Is Colon Cancer Curable and Treatable?

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Stage I or earlier

This stage is at high cure rate, since bowel cancer (including colon cancer and rectal cancer) usually has very low risk to spread.

The chance to completely remove colon cancer at stage I or earlier is very high and the treatment is more likely to work. Therefore, this stage is the most likely to cure the disease.

About 95 percent (95 out of 100 men with stage I) will survive at least 5 years or longer after the diagnosis. Even in women with stage I, almost 100 percent of them have the 5-year survival.

Unfortunately, there is still low number of patients with stage I. In other words, there are still more many cases of bowel cancer diagnosed at stage II or higher.

It seems that more effective methods are required to help diagnose the disease earlier in the future.

Stage II

About 80 percent men with stage II of bowel cancer live at least 5 years or more. In women, this percentage is higher. About 90 percent women with stage II can live at least 5 years or longer after the diagnosis.

The number of patients with stage II is relatively higher than those with stage I. About 25 percent of people with bowel cancers are diagnosed at stage II.

Stage III

In general, patients with stage III has worse outcome and prognosis than those with stage I and II. About almost 25 percent of people with colon cancer or/and rectal cancer are diagnosed at stage III.

The chance of 5-survival rate is about only 66 percent in both men and women. This means that about 34 percent of men and women diagnosed with bowel cancer at stage III don’t survive more than 5 years.

In this stage, the outlook is also dependent on various factors. But typically, the number of lymph nodes affected by cancer is a significant parameter.

Stage IV

This stage has the worst prognosis and outlook since the cancer has spread and therefore it is more difficult to treat.

Only about 7 percent men and 8 percent women diagnosed at stage IV will survive 5-year or more after the diagnosis. See also how colon cancer spreads (metastases) in this article!

*These statistics are for patients diagnosed from 2002 to 2006, according to an article published on the Cancer Research UK.

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