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Diagnosed with colon cancer. What life expectancy is there with this type of cancer?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2004
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I have been diagnosed with colon cancer. It will be 1 year by next July. What life expectancy is there witrh this type of cancer? i am 75 years old and still like to continue on living.
Posted Wed, 22 May 2013 in Colon Cancer
Answered by Dr. Enrique Molina 1 hour later
It all depends on the stage of the colon cancer when it was diagnosed.
Therefore it would be important to know a little more information about the cancer, which you or your doctor should have on your medical records.
On the piece of colon that was taken out, your pathology report should say a "staging", or basically how deep was the tumor, and if any surrounding lymph nodes were involved. You also must have had a Computed tomography (CT scan) of your abdomen and chest, to make sure you did not have any metastasis.
So I will assume that if you did not get chemotherapy around the time of diagnosis, then the cancer was likely confined to the colon, in a superficial manner. Therefore your prognosis is excellent (approximately 85 to 95% survival at 5 years).
If you have any positive lymph nodes the 5 year survival decreases to approximately 44 to 85%, depending on how many lymph nodes were positive.
If you had any metastasis then the 5 year survival is very low.
You should get a colonoscopy by year 1 after diagnosis, to ensure everything remains clear.
Hopefully that answered your question. If you happen to have the pathology report, I can give you a more specific information regarding your survival.
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