How likely is my colon cancer to reoccur?

Eeveretto asked...

I had stage three colon cancer in 2000. After five years of being cancer free I got it again in 2005. What are my chances of getting it again? My colonoscopy last year was perfect, and I don't have to have another one for three years. Is that a plus?

Expert Answer

Linda Ackerman, R.N. has clinical experience in oncology, women's health, and medical nursing. She has been practicing for more than 20 years and is a licensed registered nurse in both Florida and Wisconsin. In addition, she serves as a board member of Breast Cancer Recovery and the Wisconsin Cancer Council.

First of all, it is a very good sign that last year's colonoscopy was perfect.

Without knowing if the staging of your cancer changed when diagnosed again in 2005, or what treatment if any you underwent, it is difficult to respond about the chances of another reoccurrence.

I would recommend continuing to see your physician or physicians regularly specific to your cancer diagnosis.

Also, based on the American Society of Colon and Rectal surgeons it appears your physician is following the standard interval surveillance for undergoing a colonoscopy. However, given your history of colon cancer prior to this last colonoscopy I would recommend discussing with your physician, the pros and cons of waiting another three years to undergo the next colonoscopy.

I would also suggest for anyone with a cancer diagnosis to seek out a second opinion.

Please see the American Society of Colon and Rectal surgeons web link for more details related to screening and surveillance. (