Everyone's cancers are different in their growth rates. There is no set time and honestly say it has anything to do with your service is going to be hard to prove. Somewhere on this forum I posted some information on doubling times for colon cancer based on some generalizations.
Here is a link to it. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=52854&p=416479&hilit=Doubling+time#p416479
Now this is the time it takes from the time it could be seen in a CT scan outwards if not treated. Time from say 5 cancerous cells in ones colon crypt is a lot longer time frame. I think I once sat down and figured my wife's tumor probably started about 9 years before diagnosis based on the average doubling time working backwards from the size of her primary tumor. Had she had a colonoscopy at age 50 they would have caught it as a polyp and could likely have saved her life before it had made it to stage IVb with spread to her liver spleen and peritoneum. That would have been 6 years since it started then instead of 9. You can see how much different in size that would be based on my previous post.
Now as for the study you asked about - I don't know how one would find that specific study your fellow service man was able to use and if it was actually associated with CRC. Someone would need a lot more details seeing as there are probably many thousands of trials that have taken place and many more every year.
Good Luck in your Journey. I would focus on your present situation rather than the possible past. If you search around in this forum I think you will find that its possible to overcome this as many have.
DW 53 dx Jun 2013
CT mets Liver Spleen lung. IVb CEA~110
Jul 2013 Sig Resct
8/13 FolFox,Avastin 12Tx mild sfx, Ongoing 5-FU Avastin every 3 wks.
CEA: good marker
7/7/14 CT Can't see the spleen Mets.
8/16/15 CEA Up, CT new abdominal mets. Iri, 5-FU, Avastin every 2 wks.
1/16 Iri, Erbitux and likely Avastin (Trial) CEA going >.
1/17 CEA up again dropped from Trial, Mets growth 4-6 mm in abdomen
5/2/17 Failed second trial, Hospitalized 15 days 5/11. Home Hospice 5/26, at peace 6/4/2017