Colorectal cancer is being increasingly diagnosed worldwide. In the United States of America, it is the third most common type of cancer in men. Age is an important factor for colorectal cancer. According to studies, the risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with age and is quite high in people older than 60 years of age.Certain genetic syndromes (such as familial adenomatous polyposis and Peutz-Jegher syndrome) that are associated with an increased risk of developing polyps significantly, increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
Primary colorectal cancer: If the cancer is not treated, it will continue to grow. On an average, the likeliness of a five year survival rate of colorectal cancer is about 65%. During the initial stages, when the cancer is localized to the primary site, the survival rate is about 90% and decreases to about 9% in patients in the advanced stages of cancer (distant metastasis). About 39% of the total cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed in localized stages (when the cancer is still confined to the primary site) as many people do not have symptoms in initial stages. About 19% of the total cases of cancer are diagnosed after they have reached distant metastasis.
Recurrent colorectal cancer: A cancer that recurs (comes back) after it has been treated, is known as recurrent cancer. Colorectal cancer responds well to a treatment, if it is diagnosed early, but the risk of recurrence of colon cancer has been noted to be high. According to studies, about 20% of colorectal cancer survivors show signs of recurrence within the first five years after treatment. Early detection of recurrence increases and improves response to treatment and its prognosis.