Follow-up Treatment for Colorectal Cancer

Follow-up care is recommended for colorectal cancer patients to ensure that recurrent or metastatic disease is detected as soon as possible. Patients should undergo regular physical examinations, fecal occult blood tests, colonoscopies, CT scans, and chest x-rays.

Colorectal Cancer Prognosis

Prognosis depends on the stage of the disease and the overall health of the patient. Overall, colorectal cancer patients have a 5-year survival rate of about 61 percent. The 5-year survival rate is about 92 percent when the disease is treated before it has spread (metastasized); 64 percent when the cancer has spread to nearby organs or lymph nodes; and 7 percent when it has spread to other parts of the body (e.g., liver, lungs).

Colorectal Cancer Prevention

Early detection and removal of intestinal (colorectal) polyps may help prevent colorectal cancer. Studies are being conducted to determine if reducing risk factors (e.g., smoking, daily alcohol consumption), eating a low-fat, high-fiber diet, and increasing physical activity can help prevent the disease.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about 2 in 5 adults reported not being up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening recommendations in the National Health Interview (2013). Data for 2013 showed that 58.2 percent of adults between the ages of 50 and 75 reported having been screened for colorectal cancer—a percentage that was basically unchanged since 2010.

Updated by Remedy Health Media

Publication Review By: Toomas Sorra, M.D., F.A.C.G.

Published: 14 Aug 1999

Last Modified: 22 Jul 2015