If colon cancer is caught before it spreads outside of the colon (stage one or stage two), the cancer can sometimes be cured with surgery. It is important to continue to follow up with your doctor even if your cancer is cured to make sure that it doesn't come back.
There are three main tests you will take after surgery to make sure the cancer hasn't returned. Most people undergo all three of these tests, especially in stage two, three or four colon cancer:
- A blood test to test for CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen). CEA is made by tumor cells and can be picked up in the bloodstream.
- Colonoscopy to make sure the tumor hasn't come back in the colon.
- CT scan to make sure the tumor hasn't come back somewhere else (like the lungs or liver).