Everything You Need To Know About Colon
Sometimes referred to as colorectal cancer, cancer of
the colon is a form of the disease that starts in the large intestine
(colon) or the rectum (end of the colon). There are other types of colon
cancer such as lymphoma, carcinoid tumors, melanoma and sarcomas. However
these are much rarer. In this article, use of the term "colon cancer"
refers to colon carcinoma and not these rare types of colon cancer.
Cancer of the colon is the third most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of death among cancers in the Western world. Colorectal cancer is the most common form of colon cancer, accounting for 95% of all colon cancer cases. Many colorectal cancers are thought to arise from benign adenomatous polyps the colon. Colon cancers can also originate in other cell types, such as those that comprise the connective tissue that supports the colorectal wall or those that are specialized for producing hormones. In certain cases, some of the adenomatous polyps may develop into cancer over time.
Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States, according to statistics from the American Cancer Society. In almost all cases, early diagnosis can lead to a complete cure.
As in all other forms of cancer, the medical profession is unable to pinpoint a specific cause for cancer of the colon. People who fall into a higher risk category are those who have:
As in many other forms of cancer, colon cancer does
not display too many symptoms, and only manifests itself when the disease
begins to spread.
Early indications of the onset of colon cancer are as follows:
Increased awareness of colonic cancer and with proper screening, colon cancer can be detected before the development of symptoms, or in its earliest stages, when it is still eminently treatable. People who go through a colonoscopy, the removal of pre-cancerous polyps, should be aware this essentially prevents colon cancer. This painless procedure has been proven to be almost totally effective, and has been the principal cause of a major decrease in cases of colonic cancer over the last few years.
If, sadly, cancer of the colon has been diagnosed, then it will need to be treated and as soon as possible. The doctor in charge of treating the case will carry out tests to ascertain, as accurately as possible, how far the cancer has spread. This is known as "staging" in conventional medicine.
The stages of colorectal cancer are as follows:
Preliminary stage: The innermost layer of the intestine
No matter at which stage of development the cancer has reached , it will require some form of treatment. Preliminary stage colorectal cancer may be removed through a colonoscopy. Most other forms will require invasive surgery, or radiotherapy or both.
Chemotherapy is almost inevitable in all cases, with course running up to 6 months being the norm.
A colon cancer sufferer recovery is dependant on
many factors, the principal one being how early the cancer is detected.
Statistics show that more than 90% of patients, whose cancer was discovered
at its early stages, survived the disease. At this stage, sadly, less
than 40% of sufferers are diagnosed with cancer at its early stages.
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