What is colon cancer?
Colon cancer is also known as colorectal cancer or big bowel cancer. This type of cancer includes cancerous growth along the wall or lining of the colon, appendix and rectum. The screening and diagnosis of colon cancer should commence at the age range of 40-45 years in adults who have a good health. There are 70 to 80 percent of colorectal cases that are seen in adults without any special kind of risks. Colon cancer might affect any ethnic and racial group. However some studies suggest that people who have heritage from America and Europe have double chances of developing colon cancer. Nearly 600,000 deaths occur due to colorectal cancer. This cancer is the fourth dreaded form of cancer that has become a major cause of deaths worldwide during each year. Colon cancer is that form of cancer that arises from adenomatous polyps in the region of the colon.
What are the types of colon cancer?
- Adenocarcinomas: This is one of the most common kind of colon cancer and it originates in the glands of the human body. This cancer accounts for 95% of all types of colon cancer. Adenocarcinomas are of two types: mucinous and signet ring cell. The mucinous type of cancer comprises 15% of adenocarcinomas. On the other hand signet ring cell comprises less than 0.1 percent of adenocarcinomas.
- Leiomyosarcinomas: This kind of colon cancer arises on the smooth muscles of the colon. Leiomyosarcomas contribute 2% of the total colorectal cancers. They have a high rate of metastasis.
- Lymphomas: Lymphomas are rare and get generated more in the rectum as compared to the colon. However some lymphomas are very rare and are likely to start in the rectum than in colon. However lymphomas that originate somewhere else in the body very often spread from the colon to the rectum.
- Melanomas: This type of colon cancer is rare. It usually commences from a melanoma that started somewhere else and have spread to the colon or rectum. Melanomas account for less than 2% of colon cancers.
- Neuroendocrine tumors: This kind of tumor has been divided into two main categories. They are aggressive tumors and indolent tumors.
- change in bowel habits
- narrowing of stools (due to partial blockage of the large intestine)
- red, bloody bowel movements
- black, tarry bowel movements (melena)
- mucus in the stool
- persistent diarrhea
- persistent constipation
- rectal bleeding between bowel movements
- feeling that the bowel has not completely emptied
- urgent need to have a bowel movement
- abdominal discomfort
- a lump may be felt in the abdomen
- changes to digestion
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- usually a result of bleeding from within the bowel
- causes fatigue, shortness of breath and weakness
- Age: Age is the greatest factor. Colon cancer is not seen in patients who are below 40 years. The rate of colorectal cancer detection enhances after the age of 40. Most colorectal cancer has been diagnosed over 60 years.
- Genetics: Genetics also play an important role in being the cause for colon cancer. If one member in a family suffers from colorectal cancer then the other members of the family also develop risks of being caught by the disease.
- Defective diet: Persons who have a defective diet are at more risk of being caught by colon cancer. These persons have a high fat intake and less fiber intake in their diet.
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