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What is colon cancer?

From Medicineworld.org: What is colon cancer?: resources

Colon cancer news Treatment of colon cancer Risk factors  


What is colorectal cancer?


          When the malignant process that occurs in the wall of the colon it is called colon cancer, when it occurs on the wall of the rectum it is called rectal cancer. Colon cancer and rectal cancer have many features in common and in cancer literature and statistics they are often grouped together as colorectal cancer. They will be discussed together as colorectal cancer for ease of explanation in most of the parts of this article. But in the sections dealing with treatment they will be discussed separately because the treatment options for two conditions could be different. The majority of colorectal cancers are thought to originate form polyps, which are benign growths that can occur on the walls of these organs. Polyps are of different types and some like adenomatous polyps, are more likely to turn in to cancer compared to other types of polyps. Apart from adenomatous polyps, other kinds of polyps may occur on the wall of the large intestine including hyperplastic and inflammatory polyps. Inflammatory polyps do not progress to cancer. Hyperplastic polyps may progress to cancer on rare occasions especially if the occur in the ascending colon.Since polyps are usual precursors for colorectal cancer, the risk factors for the development of polyps are the same as those for colorectal cancer. Dysplasia is a condition in which the lining cells of tissue change in character. Dysplasia of the larger intestine may occur in diseases like ulcerative colitis and this can act as precancerous condition. The whole process of development of cancer from the stage of polyps may take several years. This is the main rationale for doing preventive screening for colorectal cancer. During the screening procedure your doctor can examine these areas for colorectal cancer and for polyps. Polyps if found are removed and this would decrease your chance of developing colorectal cancer later in life. Even though colorectal cancer is one of the among the most common types of cancer, the incidence of new patients and rate of death from this disease has decreased in the last several years due to improved screening and diagnostic techniques.


Cancer terms:
Oncologist: Physician or surgeon who had specialized in the treatment of cancer. Medical oncologists usually treat patients with chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and biological therapy, radiation oncologists treat cancer with radiation therapy and surgical oncologists treat patients with surgery. See cancer terms for more cancer related terms.

Medicineworld.org: What is colon cancer?: resources

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