6 doctors weighed in:
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?
6 doctors weighed in

Dr. Stephen Lloyd
Internal Medicine
2 doctors agree
In brief: 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!

In brief: 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!
Dr. Stephen Lloyd
Dr. Stephen Lloyd
Thank
Dr. LUIS IRIZARRY
Family Medicine
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Stage 1-4
There are guidelines that we follow.
Is not about how long it takes. Is about doing ct of chest, abd-pelvis every 2-3 months, doing cea levels, deciding on the chemotherapy needs, or radiation, or surgery, etc . Rule of thumb, oncologists do survellance every 3 months. Treat based on the stage and condition of patient.

In brief: Stage 1-4
There are guidelines that we follow.
Is not about how long it takes. Is about doing ct of chest, abd-pelvis every 2-3 months, doing cea levels, deciding on the chemotherapy needs, or radiation, or surgery, etc . Rule of thumb, oncologists do survellance every 3 months. Treat based on the stage and condition of patient.
Dr. LUIS IRIZARRY
Dr. LUIS IRIZARRY
Thank
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Controversial
Colon cancer would start as microscopic cells that are unable to be detected by any test.
Some reports suggest that a colon cancer has been present for 20 years or more before even a small tumor can be seen and located. The cell type and tumor dna tell more about how fast it may grow, invade, or spread once the tumor forms. So changes from one stage to another is highly variable.

In brief: Controversial
Colon cancer would start as microscopic cells that are unable to be detected by any test.
Some reports suggest that a colon cancer has been present for 20 years or more before even a small tumor can be seen and located. The cell type and tumor dna tell more about how fast it may grow, invade, or spread once the tumor forms. So changes from one stage to another is highly variable.
Dr. Mark Hoepfner
Dr. Mark Hoepfner
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Vicken Poochikian
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
38 years in practice
2M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors