Diagnosed in over 141,000 Americans each year, colon cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the United States, reports the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Colon cancer is very treatable when discovered during its early stages.
Stages 1 and 2
In Stage 1 colon cancer, the abnormal cancerous cells are present only in the innermost layer of the colon, while Stage 2 colon cancer has spread into the outer layers of the colon, explains the American Cancer Society.
Stages 3 and 4
Stage 3 colon cancer tumors have begun to affect lymph nodes, while Stage 4 colon cancer has spread to more than four lymph nodes or two organs in other parts of the body, reports the National Cancer Institute.
For Stage 1 colon cancer, the average five-year survival rate is 93 percent, while 72 to 85 percent of patients with Stage 2 colon cancer survive five years after diagnosis. Stage 3 colon cancer carries a five-year survival rate of 44 to 64 percent, while only eight percent of patients with Stage 4 colon cancer live for five years.
Your own life expectancy after a diagnosis of colon cancer may differ from national statistics. Your oncologist will be able to give you a better idea of the possible success of treatments for the disease.
Because your likelihood of surviving colon cancer is better if the cancer is found early, regular screenings for colon cancer are important, particularly if you are over the age of 50, reports the Mayo Clinic.