Illustration What Are The Risk Factors For Colorectal Cancer? – Biggies Boxers for How Can You Tell If You Have Colon Cancer
A Guide To Understanding Colon Cancer
Colon cancer is a deadly cancer that affects the large intestine, or the large bowel. It is a common type of cancer only second to lung cancer in the number of occurrences. The risk of developing this type of cancer is much higher in certain ethnicities and those living in the industrialized Western countries. The only good news about colon cancer is that those diagnosed early have a high rate of survival and cure with timely treatment.
Also known as colorectal cancer, colon cancer begins in the bowel. The large intestine, or bowel, has two sections including the upper colon near the stomach and the lower colon near the rectum. Colon cancer striking the large intestine may spread to both the upper and lower regions of the colon, which is the main reason it was given the medical name colorectal cancer.
The upper colon absorbs nutrients and water during the digestion of food. The lower colon, or rectum, works to accumulate and then expel the waste material from the body that is left after the digestion process.
Growths In The Colon
A cancerous growth found in the colon usually begins as a polyp. A small tissue growth or group of cells come together to form a polyp that grows in the colon. If a polyp is not found and treated, it usually develops into colon cancer over time.
A certain kind of polyp called an adenomacan polyp is the most dangerous type of small tissue growth polyp that turns into colon cancer. It typically takes between five and ten years for any type of polyp to reach the size of about half an inch. Once a polyp reaches this size, it usually takes an additional five to ten years for the polyp to develop into full blown colon cancer.
While a span of twenty years seems like enough time for a person to discover a polyp and have it treated before it develops into colon cancer, it is often difficult to even detect a growth without testing because many times there are no symptoms until it’s too late. Luckily, many advances in diagnostic techniques and screenings have made it possible to successfully discover polyps or cancerous growths before they develop into deadly colon cancer.
Some of the most common types of screening processes that help physicians diagnose and treat colon cancer are through the use of a biopsy, a colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, and barium enemas. In addition to these screening processes, patients can also undergo stool sample testing to look for blood in the stool or an unexplained deficiency of iron, as these are signs of developing polyps or colon cancer.
Screenings Are The Answer
A widespread disease that doesn’t have to be, colon cancer is preventable and treatable when discovered early. With numerous studies and research being performed, experts are increasing the rate of survival in addition to finding ways to make it easier to discover colon cancer early so those diagnosed can receive treatment before their life is at risk.
Get a colon cancer screening and encourage those you love to do the same. Through screenings, we can stop the unnecessary deaths that occur each year from the disease of colon cancer.