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Colon and Rectal Cancer


Colorectal cancer is cancer that starts in the colon or the rectum. These cancers can also be referred to separately as colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where they start. Colon cancer and rectal cancer have many features in common. Most colorectal cancers develop slowly over several years. Before a cancer develops, a growth of tissue or tumor usually begins as a non-cancerous polyp on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. 

Types of Colorectal Cancer:

Some of the types of colorectal cancers are adenocarcinomas, Carcinoid tumors, lymphomas, sarcomas and gastro intestinal stromal tumors. 

Symptoms

Many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. When symptoms appear, they'll likely vary, depending on the cancer's size and location in your large intestine. 

 

Signs and symptoms of colon cancer include:

  • A change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
  • A feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

Causes

Greater than 75-95% of colon cancer occurs in people with little or no genetic risk. Other risk factors include older age, male gender, high intake of fat, alcohol or red meat, obesity, smoking and a lack of physical exercise. Approximately 10% of cases are linked to insufficient activity. The risk for alcohol appears to increase at greater than one drink per day. 

Inherited gene mutations that increase the risk of colon cancer can be passed through families, but these inherited genes are linked to only a small percentage of colon cancers. Inherited gene mutations don't make cancer inevitable, but they can increase an individual's risk of cancer significantly. Inherited colon cancer syndromes include.

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