Colon Cancer / Colorectal Cancer – Overview
Colon Cancer is the development of cancer in colon (large intestine), the lower part of digestive system. While rectal cancer is the development of cancer in the last part of your colon. Together they both are called Colorectal Cancer.
A colorectal cancer is a malignant tumor arising from inner wall of large intestine. It is also known as Bowel Cancer or Colon Cancer.
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer in both men and women in United States. However deaths from colorectal cancer have decreased due to the use of colonoscopies and fecal occult blood test, which tastes the amount of blood in the stool.
Cause of colon / colorectal cancer
Colon cancer or colorectal cancer may be caused by a number of reasons. However common risk factors include :
- Old Age
- African – American race
- Genetic Disorder
- Lack of physical activity
- Irregular or Improper Diet
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Most colorectal cancers develop from polyps, which may form on the inner wall of the colon. Overtime some of these polyps may turn out to become cancer.
Signs and Symptoms of Colon Cancer
The signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer depend on the location of the tumor present, its extent, size of the tumor and the health of the patient.
Following are some of the common signs and symptoms involved :
- Blood in stool
- Loss in weight
- Loss in appetite
- Rectal Bleeding
However at early age of cancer one may not experience these symptoms. It is quite difficult to determine cancer in its initial stages.
Diagnosis for colon cancer
Colonoscopy or Sigmoidoscopy involves the sampling of areas of colon suspicious for possible tumor development. The disease extent is determined by a CT scan. Other tests may include PET or MRI.
- Surgery is the most common medical treatment available. Early stage colorectal can be treated well by surgery alone.
- Radiation Therapy is also used for treating colon cancer.
- Chemotherapy can reduce the risk of recurrence after finding high risk in surgery. It can also extend the life and the quality of live of the patients who are suffering from colorectal cancer.
Prescription : As colon polyps and early cancer may have no signs and symptoms, therefore a regular colorectal cancer screening test is important.