I don't think this question can be answered. There are so many stages to this disease as well as if and where it has spread. Most people who have been diagnosed with colon cancer are cured - some even with higher stages and metasizes. It can depend on the type of treatment required, the course the person chooses to take, age and health of the person, etc., etc. A better outlook would be - how long can a person with colon cancer live? and the answer would be no different than asking how long does a person live..period.
I see that you are from Fredericksburg. Even though this site lists Richmond as my address, I'm an hour and a half away from there.
The previous answer to your question is a good one. I cannot add to that
If you are recently diagnosed with colon cancer, I have been where you are right now. I was frantically asking the same question. Mine was a stage 3C. There are a lot of people on this site that are a stage 4 and have been for years.
Well, I was diagnosed at stage IV in August 2006. I have been on chemo for 11 months now and am feeling very well -- other than being tired from chemo. My plan -- with the help of praying friends -- is to be here for many years and to die of something else...not cancer.
Finding out you have cancer is one way of making the best of every day you have.
The answer to that question is "It depends". It depends on the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed, it depends on the treatment given, how quickly the treatment is administered after diagnosis, whether the patient has access to cutting edge drugs and technology and where you are in the world i.e. colorectal cancer survival rates are markedly lower in Europe than in the US.
I am sorry but I have to sound a note of caution and realism here regarding a couple of the comments made by others. I know it is not PC on this message to say these things but the reality is that the vast majority (around 90-95%) of people with stage iv colorectal cancer will not live beyond 5 years. The median survival of a stage iv patient is 21 months. My brother lived for almost 17 months.
To assert that "Most people who have been diagnosed with colon cancer are cured - some even with higher stages and metasizes" is misleading. Firstly, people are not "cured"; they may go into remission but cure is not a word used in relation to cancer, particularly those of an advanced nature. It is a fact that once you have had cancer, you are at a higher risk of a recurrence or of a new primary cancer developing. Also, survival very much depends on at what stage the cancer is diagnosed i.e. 93% of stage 1 patients are still alive after 5 years; stage 2, around 70-80% are still alive after 5 years; stage 3, around 40-60%. You also have a slightly better chance of survival of colorectal cancer if you are female. The majority of stage iv survivors beyond 5 years are women.
Cancer is a very specific disease and each person's cancer and experience is unique so stats are a guideline.
My understanding of "cured" is that after 5 years there is no detectable cancer in the body. After this time most doctors will tell you that your risk is no greater than the general public. It is correct stating that (with available screening procedures) a high number (up to 93% of the low stages of colon cancers are "curable". Also most published statistics are quite out-of-date.
Last edited by West Coast Girl; 11-16-2007 at 02:23 PM.
I would like to add one thing to what I posted yesterday. Instead of saying "how long does it take to die of colon cancer?" try to say "how long can I LIVE with colon cancer?" Staying positive is so important when you are dealing with cancer. I think it's important (mentally) to stay as upbeat as you can for as long as you can. It enriches your life. Just my 2 cents.