Doctor insights on:
How Long Does It Take Colon Cancer To Develop
Final few yards of your intestine, between the terminal ileum (small bowell) and rectum. It squeezes water and solidifies waste to stool. It is subject to outpouching (divertics) polyps, and these can become cancers. The cells are abnormal, invade into the muscle and travel ...Read more
How long does colon cancer take to develop from stage to stage? How long have you had it by the time you can see it?
A long time: Colon cancer is unusual in that it follows the "polyp-to-cancer" sequence. Colon cancer does NOT develop with a single genetic mistake from normal to full blown cancer like many others (breast, prostate). The process usually takes an average of 12 years. From stage to stage is probably a couple of years, The recent hullaballoo at the VA demonstrated that even a one year wait may not matter! ...Read moreGet help from a doctor now ›
Years....we think.: Every individual tumor is different. The "teaching" is it takes 5 years for a polyp to undergo malignant change (turn into cancer) from there, it depends on location, age and many other factors we don't yet understand. Colon cancer can be indolent (slow growing) or aggressive. It depends on the individual cancer, and everyone is different. ...Read moreGet help from a doctor now ›
Varies. ~10yrs: In general, we think about 10 years. Hence the "standard" colon screening recommendation (by colonoscopy) of every 10 years if the colon is well prepped and without pre-cancerous polyps. Colon cancer can grow faster especially in some familial syndromes. Individuals with polyps may and likely do need more frequent followup. Recs individualized by the GI physician. ...Read moreGet help from a doctor now ›
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