A common question. Here is a link to a scientific research study designed to help oncologists answer this question:
WARNING: This is a very long, technical article!
Have your eyes glazed over yet? You remember the trick to reading these from school, don’t you? You read the introduction, discussion and conclusion.
In this case, the conclusion is short and to the point:
As an extension of Collins’ law, our graphs of local recurrence data suggest that the typical age of a cancer at diagnosis is approximately 5 to 6 years for breast cancer, and 3 to 4 years for lung cancer and rectal cancer.
Pretty amazing to think the average newly diagnosed cancer patient has had cancer over three years before we figure it out! This should get better in the coming years–I hope!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat