Colorectal cancer is also known as Bowel cancer or colon cancer or rectum cancer. Colorectal cancer can generally arise in any part of the intestine: in the small intestine, in the colon or in the anal area. Tumors in the small intestine or in the anal area come much rarer than tumors in the colon, they are also treated differently.
Malignant tumors mainly develop from cells of the intestinal mucosa. Depending on which portion of the colon is affected by cancer, doctors distinguish between
- Rectal cancer and
- Colon cancer.
When the tumor is located in the last section of the colon, than it is called the rectum cancer. If cancer is located in higher sections of intestine than it is known as colon cancer. Rectal cancer and colon cancer are also combined under the term colorectal cancer .
The cancer develops very slowly and is usually not noticed until the late stage due to lack of symptoms. It arises primarily from polyps (adenomas) that degenerate into malignant tumor tissue. Polyps are benign growths that can be removed during a colonoscopy (colonoscopy).
Frequency of Colon Cancer
Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer. Colon cancer is rare before the age of 40 but in old age the risk of disease is increases, 90 percent of those affected are 55 years old or older. On average a woman is 75 years and a man is 71 old years at time of diagnosis.
Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers in the Western industrialized countries. It isthe third most common cancer of men (after prostate and lung cancer) and the second most common cancer of women (after breast cancer). Approximately two thirds of the diseases are located in the large intestine (colon), while the remainder occur in rectum (rectal cancer). The small intestine is affected in less than five percent of cases of colorectal cancer…………………
Two systems are used for the classification of stages of colon cancer: First one is TNM classifications system, which are common for almost all tumors and describes tumor spread. Colon cancer can be divided into many colorectal cancer stages by the UICC (Union for International Cancer Control)…………..
Scientists suspect that colon cancer in the colon area (rectum, colon) can have various causes but what are they exactly, is not fully understood. A colorectal cancer develops when cells grow uncontrollably in the lining of the colon. There are several factors that increase the risk of colon cancer. Colon cancer arises in most cases from benign growths of polyps, family or inheritable causes, chronic bowel disease, diet and lifestyle……
Colorectal carcinomas do not grow overnight, but grow slowly over the course of years. Usually one does not feel anything about it. However, the body sends some warning signs, to which one must pay attention. Since the changes occur often slowly, so typical symptoms are missing in early stages especially in colorectal cancer…..
- Palpation (rectal digital examination)
- Occult blood teast (hemoccult)
- Sigmoidoscope (a rigid mirroring of the rectum to 20 cm)
- Sigmoidoscopy (flexible part mirroring)
- Colonoscopy (flexible reflection of the entire colon)
- X-ray examination with contrast medium (barium enema)
The therapy or the treatment of colorectal cancer is usually depending on the stage of the cancer, and a combination of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery is used. The purpose of surgery is to remove the tumor and then followed by radiation therapy or chemotherapy. It serves mainly to kill the remaining cancer cells. Radiation therapy takes place locally and chemotherapy also combats with metastases throughout the body……………..