how fast does colon cancer spread


The human body is made up of billions of cells which form the building blocks of our tissues and organs. The replication of these cells is what gives it the ability to form complex systems that support life forms. Cancer develops as a result of genetic damage in normal cells in the human body. The damage can be caused by congenital factors or other external factors relating to food, environment or lifestyle. The cell contains genes that determines how the cell’s proteins are to be produced. Cancer develops when a string of mutations occur in the genes that govern the cell’s ability to divide and multiply. These mutations often lead to an over-stimulation of cell growth making it to grow uncontrollably. There are over 200 different types of cancer, but the most common ones are breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung and bronchial cancer, bladder cancer, melanoma of the skin, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, kidney and renal cancer, thyroid cancer, leukemia, pancreatic cancer cervical cancer and colon cancer.

What is Colon Cancer?

Colon Cancer also known as colorectal is any cancer that affects the colon(large bowel) and rectum (back passage). Most colorectal cancers develop from polyps.The three organs most commonly affected are the lungs, liver, and the lining of the abdominal cavity. Increasing age, being a person of African descent, and a family history of colorectal cancer, colon polyps or long-standing ulcerative colitis all significantly increases your risk of developing colon cancer. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States, causing about 60,000 deaths annually.


 How Long Does Colon Cancer Take To Develop?

According to Sanford Markowitz, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Case Western Reserve University and his colleagues  in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , it takes about 17 years for a small colon polyp also called an adenoma, the first, non-deadly stage of colon cancer to develop into a more dangerous advanced carcinoma. “It isn’t something that happens after a cancer cell wanders off and leaves the colon” he stated.

 How Long Does Colon Cancer Take To Develop Develop


How To Prevent Colon Cancer

Diet and lifestyle are paramount in the prevention of colon cancer. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, they contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, which play an important role in cancer prevention.

– Stop smoking

– Exercise most days of the week.

– Maintain a healthy weight.

– Avoid Alcoholic drinks

Frequently Asked Questions

Although most colorectal polyps do not become cancer, virtually all colon and rectal cancers start from these growths. People may inherit diseases in which the risk of colon polyps and cancer is very high. Colorectal cancer may also develop from areas of abnormal cells in the lining of the colon or rectum.
Signs and symptoms of colon cancer include:
  • A persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool.
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool.
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain.
  • A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely.


This means that about 14% of people with stage IV colon cancer are likely to still be alive 5 years after they are diagnosed. But you’re not a number. No one, including your doctor, can tell you exactly how long you’ll live.
Colon cancer is the second most deadly form of cancer after lung cancer. But it’s one of the easiest diseases to detect, and in its earliest stages, it’s also one of the most curable. If you’ve been diagnosed with colon cancer, or if you’re at risk for the disease, it’s time to learn everything you can.
Most people with these symptoms do not have bowel cancer. As the vast majority of people with bowel cancer are over the age of 60, these symptoms are more important as people get older. … a persistent change in bowel habit without blood in their stools, but with abdominal pain.
Stage IV colon cancers have spread from the colon to distant organs and tissues. Colon cancer most often spreads to the liver, but it can also spread to other places like the lungs, brain, peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), or to distant lymph nodes. SEE: Stage 4 Lung Cancer Life Expectancy Without Treatment

Many people have abdominal pain at some point in their lives, and like many symptoms, it can seem minor. This change in bowel habits can lead to cramping, bloating and abdominal pain and could be an indicator of colon cancer

Although there is no cure for cancer yet, detecting and treating the disease at an early stage can significantly improve a person’s outlook. The cancers with the highest 5-year relative survival rates include melanoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, and breast, prostate, testicular, cervical, and thyroid cancer.
Signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome that do not occur with colon cancer include abdominal cramping and pain that is relieved with bowel movements. Alternating periods of constipation (IBS-C) and diarrhea (IBS-D), intestinal gas, passing mucous from the rectum, bloating, and abdominal distension.
Abdominal pain is present in 20% of the cases. Partial large-bowel obstruction may cause colicky abdominal pain and bloating. Back pain is usually a late sign causedby a tumor invading or compressing nerve trunks. Urinary symptoms may also occur if the tumor is invading or compressing the bladder or prostate.


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