Since the 1970s, the colon cancer mortality rate has been steadily declining for both men and women. The specialists at Regional Cancer Care Associates in New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland have seen similar trends in their practices. For newly diagnosed patients, this means they may have a greater chance of survival compared to patients with a similar diagnosis 20 or 30 years ago.
Despite the improvements in colon cancer detection and treatment, colon cancer remains the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. Let’s dive into the facts about colon cancer fatalities.
Key Statistics About Colon Cancer Fatalities
In 2018, the American Cancer Society predicts that there will be about 97,220 new cases of colon cancer diagnosed. Of those cases, an estimated 50,000 will result in death. The risk of death increases significantly for those who are diagnosed at later stages.
The five-year survival rate for each stage of colon cancer, according to the ACA, is as follows:
- Stage I: 92%
- Stage IIA: 87%
- Stage IIIB: 69%
- Stage IIIC: 53%
- Stage IV (or metastatic): 11%
While colon cancer is treatable, it is also an aggressive form of cancer. As it advances and spreads to other parts of the body, treatment becomes more difficult. In some cases, the tumors may be inoperable. Colon cancer can also return after a patient has gone into remission, which is known as recurrence or relapse.
Why the Colon Cancer Mortality Rate is Declining
Even though some cases of colon cancer are fatal, there is hope. The most important thing anyone can do to increase their chances of survival is to go for regular screenings. Early detection in Stage 0 or Stage I is critically important. If you have any of the risk factors for colon cancer, talk to your doctor about getting a colonoscopy.
In addition to early detection, another reason why colon cancer death rates are improving is because of scientific advancements. More and more types of chemotherapy and immunotherapy regimens are being developed, as well as successful clinical trials. As a result, today, there are more than 1 million colon cancer survivors living in the United States.
Dedicated to high-quality colon cancer treatment, the specialists at Regional Cancer Care Associates are helping pave the way for even more improvements. Schedule an appointment today at the RCCA location nearest you.