If someone is afflicted with colorectal cancer, their chances of survival will depend on several factors. One of them is the pathological history of the patient. If the patient has earlier suffered from adenomas, there will be an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. This will be more so if the polyps are large in number and size. Even if the colorectal cancer that developed earlier was completely removed, the chances of new cancers developing in other areas of the colon and rectum are high.If the patient had the first colorectal cancer at a young age, the chances of this problem recurring will be high.
Another negative factor is a personal history of chronic inflammatory bowel disease also called IBD. If one had had IBD, then one should undergo a screening colonoscopy between eight and twelve years after the diagnosis.
The focus should be on avoiding risk factors and adopting protective measures. Awareness of the important facts about colorectal cancer is the first step. The problem starts with polyp formation. As polyps grow in size, there is a higher risk of their turning malignant. You can understand the significance of the size of polyps from the fact that while the chances of a very small polyp being cancerous is less than one in five hundred (0.2 percent), the figure for polyps of one centimeter size is about one in ten 10 percent). The chance increases with a polyp with a size of two centimeters having chances of becomng cancerous being as high as one in two (50 percent.)
Another risk factor is the history of a quite a few in the family having Colorectal cancer. This indicates a genetically acquired proneness for this disease. Statistics show that about 30 percent of the cases diagnosed are due to genetic factors. The risk is higher if a relative acquires this problem at an age below 60. Understandably the risk become higher if more than one person is associated with this type of cancer. A symptom known as hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer, or HNPCC also contributes to a high risk of colorectal cancer being developed. HNPCC is known to increase the risk for other types of cancer as well.
Diet also plays a role in causing this problem. People who consume diets rich in fats and calories but low in fiber are at increased risk of contracting this disease.
While a lot of innovative treatments and new drugs have been developed, counseling is also very important in helping people overcome their problems and increase their chances of survival.