Colorectal cancer is a cancer that is found in the colon and rectum that begins with polyps found in the lining of the colon and rectum.
Colorectal cancer’s causes are unknown but there are risks that are inherited and come from different lifestyle factors. Smoking, lack of exercise, and obesity may place someone at larger risk for colorectal cancer. Genetic factors could increase a person’s susceptibility to the disease.
It is the third most common cancer and there are more than 150,000 new cases in the United States each year. 1 in 23 men and 1 in 25 women in the United States will be diagnosed with colon cancer.
Common signs of colorectal cancer would be changes in bowel habits, vomiting, tiredness, unknown weight loss, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, and blood in the stool. Consult your doctor if you may be experiencing any of these symptoms.
Men and women over the age of 50 are at almost an equal risk of developing colorectal cancer. Those who have a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.
If you are 45 or older, you should talk to your doctor about yearly screenings. These screenings can identify polyps and allow time for the removal of precancerous polyps to prevent the future development of cancer. Early screening is the best way to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer.
A polyp is a group of cells that form on the lining of the colon. These polyps are typically removed. It is important to find the polyps early before they develop into cancerous cells.
There are two main ways a polyp is removed. The first being using an electrical current to destroy the polyp and the other being to use a wire loop to snare and remove the polyp.
Doctors can diagnose colon cancer in a few different ways. This may include blood and stool tests, CAT scans, PET scans, and the most common being a colonoscopy.
A colonoscopy allows doctors to detect changes or see abnormalities in the colon and rectum. During the procedure a long flexible tube is inserted into the rectum. A small video camera on the end of the tube allows doctors to view the interior of the colon to detect any abnormalities.