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All You Need To Know About Colon Cancer

Apr 6, 2008
Colon cancer is a type of cancer that affects the colon, rectum and appendix areas. Also called colorectal or large bowel cancer, it ranks no. 3 among the common forms of cancers. As much as 655,500 people die from colon cancer around the world every year, making it second among other types of cancers in terms of mortality rate.

Like all types of cancers, colon cancer is caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division within the body particularly in the colon and rectum area. There are suggestions that colon cancer is caused by adenomatous polyps that can be found in the colon area, organisms which are originally benign but can potentially become malignant over time.

Possible Causes of Colon Cancer

A diet that is high in fat is thought to be one of the possible causes of colon cancer among people. Doctors theorize that carcinogens are developed through the breakdown of fat metabolism in high-fat diets. It is noted that countries that have high occurrence rates of colorectal cancer have diets that are loaded with fat. That is why the western part of the world have a higher occurrence rate compared to the people in Asia.

Another theory regarding the development of cancer is the presence of benign colon polyps. These polyps are created when chromosomes are damaged in the inner lining of the colon. Since chromosomes are known to control the growth of cells, damaged chromosomes can cause uncontrollable growth and division which are believed to be the origin of cancer. Because polyps are born out of damaged chromosomes, it is linked to the development of colon cancer.

Ulcerative colitis is also pointed as a possible origin of cancer of the colon. Ulcerative colitis is described as an enlargement of the large intestine, and is thought to develop into colon cancer when they become complicated. When a person has ulcerative colitis for eight to ten years, he or she is more at risk of developing colon cancer.

A person's risk of contracting colon cancer increases as a person gets older. In fact, most people that contract colon cancers are in the 60 and 70 age groups. There are less occurrences in the age groups of 50 and below.

Symptoms of Colon Cancer

Similar to other forms of cancer, colorectal cancer does not manifest any sort of symptoms in its earlier levels making it difficult to diagnose and treat. However, when it develops into more malignant states, sufferers of colon cancer start to feel certain symptoms.

Some organizations propose that people undergo periodic screening for colon cancer using fecal occult blood testing and colonoscopy. These are some symptoms that warrant testing for possible colorectal cancer:

1.Abrupt change in bowel habits including frequency, as well as consistency and quality of stools.
2.Presence of blood in stools.
3.Presence of mucus in stools.
4.Defecation may feel incomplete after you finish.
5.A rare occurrence of obstruction in the bowels.

Anemia, anorexia, asthenia and unexplained weight loss are considered constitutional symptoms of colon cancer.
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