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Colon Cancer Survival Rates

When discussing diseases such as colon cancer, survival rates refer to the percentage of people who survive the disease for a specific period of time after their diagnosis. The statistics contained in this article are based on the relative survival rate, which measures the survival of people with the disease in comparison to the general population to estimate the effect of cancer.

Survival Rates With Colon Cancer: An Overview

Colon cancer survival rates indicate the percentage of people who survive the disease for a specific period of time after their diagnosis. In most cases, statistics refer to five-year survival rates.
 
The five-year colon cancer survival rate is the percentage of people who are alive five years after being diagnosed with the disease, whether they have few or no signs or symptoms of cancer, are free of disease, or are receiving treatment.
 
Survival rates are based on large groups of people; they cannot be used to predict what will happen to a particular patient. No two people are exactly alike, and colon cancer treatment and responses to treatment vary greatly. The survival rates for colon cancer discussed in this article reflect national statistics that combine data from cases of both colon and rectal cancer.
 

Factors Influencing Colon Cancer Survival Rates

In general, colon cancer survival rates will depend on:
 
  • The stage of disease (see Colon Cancer Stages)
  • The person's age and general health.
  • Whether the cancer has just been diagnosed or has come back.
     

Overall Survival Rates

Survival rates can be calculated by different methods for different purposes. The data presented here is based on the relative survival rate. The relative survival rate measures the survival of colon cancer patients in comparison to the general population to estimate the effect of cancer.
 
The overall five-year relative colon cancer survival rate for 1996-2002 was 64.1 percent. The five-year relative survival rates by race and sex were:
 
  • 66.0 percent for white men
  • 64.2 percent for white women
  • 55.6 percent for black men
  • 53.9 percent for black women.
     
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