If you are worried about developing colon cancer, it is important to stay informed. Thankfully, there are many different news sources that report on the latest advances in the disease. One example is a Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellow at STAT, Nicholas St. Fleur. This young journalist, who is now 34, had a family history of colorectal cancer. He decided to get a colonoscopy at age 30 and documented his journey on video.
Research indicates that eating a diet high in red meat and processed meats has an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. Studies have also shown that people with this type of cancer carry up to 100 billion cancer-causing cells. These cells are not readily eliminated by conventional methods. Those with colon cancer should look into targeted therapies. A cancer-fighting drug called 5-FU targets the cancer cells and spares healthy cells. It works by stimulating the immune system to attack them.
Colorectal cancer usually starts in the rectum and large intestine. Other forms of colon cancer may develop in the same area, but they are much rarer. The large intestine absorbs water from food and passes it through the sigmoid, transverse, and descending colons. In some cases, the tumors may spread outside of the colon and cause other complications. The latest news about colorectal cancer shows that many treatments can be effective.
Surgical treatment is a powerful way to remove early stages of colon cancer. However, it cannot stop the cancer from spreading. Surgery for colon cancer may be open or laparoscopic, and requires tiny incisions. During the operation, the surgeon may use a robotic device to guide the surgical procedure. During the surgery, doctors remove the cancer cells and reattach the segments of the colon that are left. Once the cancer has spread, the patient may require chemotherapy.
While there is no single cause of colon cancer, there are several environmental factors that can increase the risk of the disease. Including air pollution, chemicals in the soil, and use of pesticides are all known risk factors. The National Toxicology Program, run by the NIEHS, has identified 18 chemicals that cause cancer in the intestines of mice. Some of these may damage DNA and cause dangerous mutations in cells.
Surgery can remove the cancer and improve the quality of life for the patient. While chemotherapy and radiation therapy are effective treatments, patients with advanced stages of colon cancer may require surgery. A surgical resection is usually required to remove the cancer. Patients with stage II and III may need chemotherapy, but it is still associated with risks. Some patients may develop resistance to the drugs. Therefore, patients should discuss all the risks and benefits of surgery with their doctor.
Colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer, is the second most common type of cancer in the U.S. and is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women. Colorectal cancer develops when a small growth called a polyp turns into a cancerous tumor. Once it has spread beyond the colon, it can be metastatic, or break away. Fortunately, the disease is curable if detected in its early stages.
The disease is often fatal, but it is curable with early detection. With early detection, colon cancer can be completely cured. In fact, nearly all colon cancers originate in the lining of the colon. Often, these polyps start out as non-cancerous growths and then develop into cancer. Some people are genetically predisposed to colon cancer, including those with the Lynch syndrome. If you suspect you may have a genetic tendency towards colon cancer, talk to your doctor about screening options and how to reduce your risk of developing it.
While colorectal cancer is often thought of as an older-adult disease, it is actually growing in younger adults. In fact, since the early 1990s, the rate of colorectal cancer in young adults has doubled in the United States. The rate has declined in older people, but is expected to surpass that of those age 75. The good news is that more young people are now receiving regular colonoscopies. With the advancement of technology, doctors are able to diagnose colorectal cancer at an earlier stage, so it is crucial to be screened for colorectal cancer.