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All the general information about colon cancer that you need to know
Colon cancer is, as its name suggests, a disease that affects the colon. The colon is a tube shaped organ, located in the abdomen, that starts at the end of the bowel and ends with the anus. It twists and turns a lot, so its length is over 4 feet.
The functions of the colon are to digest the food, absorb the nutrient substances from it (proteins and aminoacids), and to create the concentrated fecal material, which is then stored and eliminated from the colon when the time comes.
The end of the colon is called rectum. The rectum and the colon together form the large intestine.
When colon cancer occurs, tumors appear on the inner walls of the large intestine. There are two types of tumors - benign tumors, also called polyps, which are not dangerous, and malignant tumors, which are the cancer.
Polyps do not spread to other cells and tissues and they can be easily removed. Tumors on the other hand, can spread and cause life-threatening complications. Remember that a benign polyp will turn into a malignant tumor if it is not treated in time.
Once a colon cancer appears it will start to spread and attack other tissues and cells, and eventually it can reach the lungs or the liver and form new tumors there.
The causes of colon cancer are nor entirely known, but what is known is that some people are at a higher risk of developing colon cancer than others. Those who consume large quantities of fats and those who had a history of colon cancer in the family are most likely to get colon cancer. Smoking and alcohol also increases the risks.
The disease has almost no symptoms when it is in its early stages, and when it advances the symptoms are different from one person to another and they depend on the size of the cancer and its exact location.
The most commonly encountered symptoms of colon cancer are:
-stool that contains blood
-abdominal cramps and pain
-change in bowel habits
If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above consult a doctor as fast as you can. He will make several tests in order to establish a diagnose. Some people consider these tests to be embarrassing, because among them there are rectal exams, and fecal sample tests.
If the test results indicate colon cancer than treatment must begin as soon as possible before it spreads to other areas. The main options for colon cancer treatment are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Surgery the most popular treatment method.
The good news is that most of the people survive colon cancer, as time passes the survival rate increases. Survival depends on which stage of colon cancer the patient has. If the cancer has reached the final stage then the chances are much lower because the cancer has already spread to other distant organs of the body.
Although the treatments are improving and the survival rate is increasing colon cancer is still one of the leading cause of death, because many don't know that they have it until they reach the final stages. It is important to pay attention to its symptoms and consult a doctor for medical advice from time to time.
About the Author: For more resource on different colon cancer subjects please click this link http://www.colon-cancer-center.com. You can also find valuable information about colon cancer treatment or even about metastatic colon cancer