Colon cancer is a common type of (cancer)
in which there is uncontrolled growth of the cells that line the inside of the colon or rectum. Colon cancer is also called
Cancer growths occur when some cells in the body begin to multiply in an
uncontrolled manner. The body's natural defenses, such as certain parts of the immune system, cannot stop uncontrolled cell
division. These abnormal cells become greater and greater in number. In some types of cancer, including colon cancer, the
uncontrolled cell growth forms a mass, also called a Tumor. Tumors always start off as a polyp. A polyp is an abnormal growth
of tissue projecting from a mucous membrane. It is attached to the surface by a narrow elongated stalk. Polyps are commonly
found in the colon, stomach, nose, uterus and bladder. They may also occur elsewhere in the body where mucous membranes exist
like the cervix and small intestine.
Some tumors are benign, which means that they are not cancerous.
Cancerous or malignant tumors grow out of control and can invade, and destroy normal cells near the tumor.
In some cases, cancer cells spread to other areas of the body, like the liver and
All cancers come in stages, the higher
the stage, the worse it can be.
Stage 1 colon cancer involves more than just the inner lining of the colon. A polyp has progressed
to a tumor, and extends into the wall of the colon or rectum.
Treatment can include surgery to remove the
section of the colon that is cancerous. This type of surgery is called a resection. The healthy, non-cancerous sections of
the colon are reconnected again. The five-year survival rate is 95 percent.
Stage 2 colon cancer is when the cancer has spread beyond the colon to the tissue that surrounds the colon but has not spread
to lymph nodes. Cancer spreading in this manner from one part of the body to another is called metastasis.
surgery may also be used to treat this stage of cancer. The 5-year survival rate drops dramatically to 60 percent.
Cancer that has spread outside the colon and on to the lymph nodes in the area surrounding
the colon is known as Stage 3. In this stage, the cancer has not spread to other organs in the body, but treatment is more
Surgical resection of the colon, chemotherapy, and other medical therapies may be necessary. The five-year
survival rate is 35 to 60 percent.
In stage 4, the cancer has spread
to other organs in the body such as the lungs or liver. This is progressed cancer.
In addition to a surgical resection
and chemotherapy, radiation treatments and surgery to remove other affected parts of the body may be necessary. At this
stage, there is only a 3 percent chance of reaching the five-year survival time.
The American Cancer Society Reports:
—106,100 new cases of colon cancer were
diagnosed in 2009
—49,920 deaths from colon cancer occur each year
—Colon cancer is the third most common
cancer found in men and women in this country
Risk factors for colon
•Age: After 50, Men and Women Share Nearly The Same Risk.
Family History of Colon Cancer or Polyps
•Having a Pre-Determined Bowel Disease
•Heavy Alcohol Use
•Type 2 Diabetes
•A Diet With High Amounts of Red Meat Being Consumed
To reduce the risk of getting colon cancer, a person can:
to a doctor if you have any colon cancer symptoms
*If you're 50 or older, schedule a colon cancer screening
a balanced diet with a minimum of 35 grams of fiber daily
*Maintain a healthy weight
* Maintain an active lifestyle
*Learn your family medical history
*Lower your red meat intake
of colon cancer can include:
*A change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation
*A change in the consistency of your stool for more than 2 weeks
*Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
*Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
*A feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely
*Weakness or fatigue
*Unexplained weight loss
Many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. This is why colon cancer is called
“The silent killer”.
When symptoms appear, they'll likely vary,
depending on the cancer's size and location in your large intestine.