What is the Colon Cancer Survival Rate?

Steven Mott by Steven Mott | Licensed since 2012
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This article was updated on: 09/15/2018

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Colon cancer is often grouped with rectal cancer and referred to as colorectal cancer. Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer diagnosed in the United States, after breast, lung, and prostate cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.

The good news is that the colon cancer survival rate is good if the cancer is treated early. There are now more than a million colorectal cancer survivors in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.

What affects the colon cancer survival rate?

The colon cancer survival rate is most determined by what stage the cancer is in when it is treated. Stage describes how big the cancer is and how much it has spread. There are four stages of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.

  • In Stage I, Stage II, and Stage III cancer is present. The higher the number, the larger the cancer tumor is and the more it has spread to nearby tissues.
  • In Stage IV, the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body.

Your colon cancer survival rate is also affected by your age and overall health, according to the American Cancer Society.

What is the colon cancer survival rate?

We’ll look at relative colon cancer survival rates, which compare people with colon cancer to the overall population.

According to the American Cancer Society, the 5-year relative colon cancer survival rate for people with Stage I colon cancer is about 92%. That means 92/100 of people are still alive five years after being diagnosed.

The colon cancer survival rate decreases for stage II colon cancer as the cancer has spread. For Stage IIA colon cancer the five year relative colon cancer survival rate is about 87%. For stage IIB colon cancer the survival rate is about 63%.

The colon cancer survival rate for Stage IIIA colon cancer is about 89%, actually higher than stage IIB cancer. The colon cancer survival rate for stage IIIB cancer is about 69% and for stage IIIC cancer the survival rate is about 53%.

Stage IV colon cancer is called metastatic cancer. This stage of cancer has spread to other parts of the body and is harder to treat. Stage IV colon cancer has a five year relative colon cancer survival rate of about 11%.

Things to keep in mind when considering the colon cancer survival rate

Keep in mind that the colon cancer survival rate statistics are only estimates and can’t predict what will happen to any individual person. These numbers are also based on patients who have diagnosed five years ago and don’t account for recent innovations in cancer treatment. Also keep in mind that many of the people who make up the five-year survival rate statistics live well beyond five years after their diagnosis.

Do you have more questions about Medicare coverage of colon cancer?

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