Colon Cancer (colorectal cancer)

Overview:

 Colorectal cancer is cancer in the colon, appendix, or rectum

 Colon cancer starts in the large intestine or the rectum

 Tumors in the colon or the rectum are growths from the inner wall of the large intestine

 Consists of malignant tumors in the large intestine

 Benign tumors in the large intestine, known as polyps, can become malignant if not

removed

 Can invade other organs and tissues all over the body over time

 Once colorectal cancer has metastasized, a complete cure is not likely
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Statistics (2012):

 One of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States

 Screening is effective in diagnosing it and decreasing the chance of death

 Fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world

 The American Cancer Society estimates about 100,000 new cases in 2012, with about

50,000 deaths

Symptoms

 Blood in the stool

 Diarrhea or constipation

 Narrow stools

 Weight loss

 Abdominal pain

 Anemia

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Risk Factors

 People of African American or eastern European descent

have a higher risk

 Age (older than 60)

 Have cancer in other places of the body

 Have Colorectal Polyps benign tumors of the large intestine

 Have inflammatory bowel disease

 Have a family history of colon cancer (genetic preposition)

 A diet of red meat, high fat, and low fiber

 Alcohol, smoking, lack of exercise

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Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis

 Imaging tests such as: colonoscopy camera examines bowels, sigmoidoscopy bowels are

examined, can include biopsy

 Blood tests: Complete Blood Count (can find anemia, a symptom of colon cancer) counts

RBC, WBC, hemoglobin levels, Liver function test

 After the cancer has spread these tests may be used to see if the cancer has spread: CT

scan, MRI scan, PET scan chest, brain, lungs, abdomen

Treatment

 Radiation therapy: used with chemotherapy or surgery

 Chemotherapy: Drugs such as Irinotecan, oxaliplatin, capectitabene, and 5-fluororacil

 Surgery: Remove cancer cells,

Resources

http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/ColonandRectumCancer

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001308/

http://www.medicinenet.com/colon_cancer/article.htm