If colorectal cancer is caught early, the 5-year survival rate is very good. For cancer caught at a later stage, the 5-year rate is less favorable.
Here are the 5-year survival rates for colorectal cancer according to the National Cancer Institute.
For people whose cancer is found before it has spread to lymph nodes or other organs, the 5-year survival rate is 90 percent.
The 5-year survival rate for colorectal cancer that has spread to nearby organs or lymph nodes is 70 percent.
Once colorectal cancer has spread to distant organs such as the liver or lungs, the 5-year survival rate is 12 percent.
These numbers are adjusted to account for the fact that some people with colorectal cancer may die from other causes. Keep in mind survival rates do not predict what will happen to someone. No two people are exactly the same. Treatment and responses to treatment vary greatly.