Colorectal cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon), lower gastrointestinal tract. rectal cancer is a cancer of the last inches of the large intestine. Together, they are often referred to as colon cancer.
Most cases of colon cancer start small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Over time, some of these polyps to colon cancer.
Polyps may be small and produce few or no symptoms. For this reason, doctors recommend regular screening to prevent colorectal cancer by identifying polyps before they become colon cancer.
Symptoms of colorectal cancer are:
Change in bowel habits, diarrhea or constipation or a change in consistency of stools for more than a few weeks
Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
Persistent abdominal discomfort such as cramping, pain or gas
Feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
Weakness or fatigue
nexplained weight loss
Many people experience no symptoms of colorectal cancer at an early stage of the disease. Once symptoms appear, will likely vary depending on size and location of cancer in the colon.
When the doctor
If you notice any symptoms of colorectal cancer, such as blood in the stool, or persistent changes in bowel habits, an appointment with your doctor.
Talk to your doctor about when to begin screening for colon cancer. Guidelines generally recommend screening for colorectal cancer from 50 years. Your doctor may recommend more frequent testing, or earlier if other risk factors such as illness of the family.
It is not known what causes colon cancer in most cases. Doctors know that colorectal cancer occurs when healthy cells in the colon is altered. Healthy growth and cell division in an orderly way to keep your body functioning normally. But sometimes this growth gets out of control - to continue cell division even when new cells are not necessary. In the colon and rectum, it can cause excessive growth of precancerous cells in the form of the intestinal mucosa. For a long time - including even a few years - some of these regions can become cancerous abnormal cells.
Precancerous Colon Growths
Colorectal cancer usually starts by clusters of precancerous cells (polyps) on the inner wall of the colon. Polyps may occur in the form of the fungus. precancerous growths may be flat or convex wall of the colon (change nonpolypoid). Nonpolypoid changes are more difficult to detect, but are less popular. Removal of polyps and changes nonpolypoid before they become cancerous can prevent colon cancer.
Inherited Genetic Mutations That Increase The Risk of Colorectal Cancer
Inherited genetic mutations that increase the risk of colorectal cancer may be provided by families, but they are linked to inherited genes, only a small percentage of colon cancers. Inherited mutations in cancer is not inevitable, but you can increase the individual risk of cancer significantly. Teams inherited colon cancer are:
familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). FAP is a rare disease that causes you to develop polyps in the lining miles of the colon and rectum. People untreated FAP have a significantly increased risk of colorectal cancer before age 40.
hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). HNPCC, also known as Lynch syndrome, increases the risk of colorectal cancer and other cancers. People with HNPCC develop colorectal cancer before age 50.
Both FAP and HNPCC can be detected by genetic testing. If you're concerned about your family history of colorectal cancer, talk to your doctor if you have a family history suggests the risk of these conditions.
Factors that may increase the risk of colorectal cancer are:
More. About 90 percent of people diagnosed with colorectal cancer are over 50 years, colorectal cancer can occur in young, but it is much less.
African-American race. Afro-Americans have a greater risk of developing colorectal cancer than people of other races.
Personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps. If you have already had colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps have an increased risk of colorectal cancer in the future.
Inflammatory bowel conditions. The long-term inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, may increase the risk of developing colon cancer.
Inherited teams that increase the risk of developing colon cancer. Genetic syndromes passed through generations of the family may increase the risk of developing colon cancer. These teams are composed of familial adenomatous polyposis and hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, which is also known as Lynch syndrome.
Family history of colorectal cancer and colorectal polyps. You are more likely to develop colorectal cancer if parents, siblings or children with the disease. If more than one family member has cancer of the colon or rectum, the risk is even greater. In some cases, therefore, can be hereditary or genetic. Instead, cancers of the same family may result from exposure to environmental carcinogens or common dietary or lifestyle factors.
Low-fiber, high fat content. Colorectal cancer and rectal cancer may be associated with a diet low in fiber and rich in fat and calories. Research in this area have had mixed results. Some studies have shown an increased risk of colon cancer in people who consume a diet rich in red meat and processed meats.
Sedentary lifestyle. If you're active, you have more chance of colon cancer. Get regular physical activity can reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.
Diabetes. People with diabetes and insulin resistance may increase the risk of colon cancer.
Obesity. Obese individuals have an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer and increased risk of dying from colorectal cancer compared to those of normal weight.
Smoking. People who smoke cigarettes may be at increased risk of developing cancer of the colon.
Alcohol. Heavy alcohol consumption may increase the risk of developing colon cancer.
Radiotherapy for cancer. Radiotherapy directed at the abdomen to treat previous cancers may increase the risk of developing colon cancer.
Preparations for The Visit
If your doctor suspects a colorectal cancer may be, is often referred to specialists who treat colon cancer. You can meet with several specialists, including:
Physicians who treat diseases of the digestive tract (gastrointestinal)
The doctors treating cancer (oncologists)
Doctors removed by operation of colorectal cancer (doctors)
Physicians who use radiation to treat cancer (radiation oncologists)
Because time may be short, and because there is often a long way to go, it's a good idea to be well prepared for the visit. Here is some information that will help you prepare for the visit and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
Note, subject to restrictions appointment. At the time of his appointment, you should ask if there is something you should do before, such as food restriction.
Save the symptoms of your problem, as it may seem unrelated to the reason for the appointment.
Save the key data, including recent changes in the life of high stress.
Make a list of all medications and vitamins or supplements you take.
When a family member or friend along, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to accept that all information obtained during the visit. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that I missed or forgotten.
Save questions for the doctor.
With your doctor is limited, the preparation of a list of questions will help you make the most of your time. List of time issues more or less important when exhausted. For colorectal cancer, some basic questions to the doctor are:
Where is my cancer, colorectal cancer is in my colon?
What is my stage colorectal cancer?
Can you explain the pathology report?
Can I get a copy of the pathology report?
Is my colon cancer has spread to other parts of my body?
Do we need more research?
What are the treatment options for mine colorectal cancer?
Do one of the methods of treatment of colorectal cancer cure me?
What is the chance that my colon cancer will be cured?
How each treatment to increase your chances that my colon cancer will be cured?
What are the potential side effects of each treatment?
How each treatment affect daily life?
Is it the first treatment you feel is best for me?
What do you recommend for a family member or friend to my place?
How long should I make my decision about treatment?
Can I get a second opinion?
Do I see a specialist? What is the cost and my insurance to see a specialist?
Are there any brochures and other printed material that I can take with you? Which sites do you recommend?
Besides the issues already ready to ask your doctor, do not hesitate to ask questions during a visit at any time that you do not understand.