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How long do polyps take to turn in cancer?

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Old 04-18-2011, 12:16 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Phoenix, az usa
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jtriece HB User
How long do polyps take to turn in cancer?

My wife was diagnosed with stage 3C colon cancer after a colonoscopy revealed a tumor three weeks ago. What's unusual is that she had a colonoscopy from the same doctor in 2007 (four years ago) and her results were clear of any polyps or tumors.

The tumor she has now was removed and was 3.5 cm with 4 lymph nodes affected.

Is it possible for a tumor to develop to stage 3C inside of four years from nothing? Or was the original tumor missed in 2007?


Last edited by jtriece; 04-18-2011 at 12:17 AM.

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Old 04-19-2011, 09:00 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 194
Re: How long do polyps take to turn in cancer?

Colonoscopies are not fool proof. A small percentage of polyps are sometimes missed due to incomplete patient preparation,or being very small and hidden in a fold of the colon or being a flat polyp rather than on a stalk or the MD not taking sufficient time to do a thorough examination as the colonoscope is removed too quickly.

Normally a colon cancer can take from 7 to 10 years to develop from a polyp. That is why the recommendation for colonoscopy is every 10 years, unless there is a prior family history.

However, with Lynch Syndrome (HNPCC) due to a genetic mutation a colon cancer can develop in as little as 1 to 2 years. That is why those of us with Lynch Syndrome go for colonoscopies on a yearly basis to catch any polyps before they can develop into/or are still tiny cancers. If your wife is age 60 or younger and/or has relatives that have had endometrial, ovarian, colon, gastric, renal pelvis or brain cancer to consider meeting with a geneticist to discuss the possibility that her cancer may be hereditary in nature. If it seems likely, it is important to undergo the testing as the mutation is a dominant one and can affect direct relatives, parents, children and siblings, in addition to putting the person at risk for other Lynch related cancers or a second colon cancer.

Lynch Syndrome PMS2 mutation
2003 Colon Cancer Stage III
1995 Endometrial Cancer Stage I

Last edited by LESLIETOO; 04-19-2011 at 12:35 PM.

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