Dealing with a cancer diagnosis is extremely difficult whenever it occurs, but it's especially troubling when the diagnosis occurs later than it should have. When cancer is discovered late, the rate of survival diminishes. Because of the time that elapses between when the cancer first takes hold in the body and when it is ultimately diagnosed, the likelihood of the cancer metastasizing (spreading  to other parts of the body) increases.

According to the American Cancer Society, the 1- and 5-year survival rates for someone diagnosed with colorectal cancer are 83 percent and 65 percent, respectively. Ten years after diagnosis, chances of survival for someone with colon and rectal cancer decline to less than 60 percent.

In comparison to those rates, early detection greatly enhances one’s chances of surviving colorectal cancer. If the diagnosis occurs while the cancer is still in its early, localized stage, then the 5-year survival rate jumps from 65 percent to 91 percent. Unfortunately, early detection only occurs in 39 percent of colorectal diagnoses.

Late detection of colon and rectal cancer can mean the cancer has already spread to adjacent parts of the body, and once this occurs, the 5-year survival rate drops to 70 percent. If the diagnosis comes even later than that, it’s likely that the cancer could have spread to distant organs. Unfortunately, once the cancer gets to this point, the 5-year rate of survival is only 11 percent.

If you or a loved one has colon and rectal cancer and feel it was detected late or misdiagnosed by a Georgia doctor or medical professional, please request a copy of our free book, I Have Cancer…Should It Have Been Caught Earlier?, or contact an experienced Atlanta medical malpractice and colorectal cancer lawyer at the Dover Law Firm at 770-518-1133 for more information.