Colon Cancer also known as Colorectal Cancer or Large Bowel Cancer includes cancerous growths in the colon, rectum and appendix.Screening for Colon cancer should begin at the age of 40 in healthy adults. 70 to 80 percent of colorectal cancer cases occur in adults without specific risk factors. Colon cancer may affect any racial or ethnic group; however, some studies suggest that Americans of northern European heritage have a higher-than-average risk of colon cancer.
What are Types of Colon Cancer?
The Types of Colon Cancer are as under:
Adenocarcinomas: These are the most common type of Colon Cancer and originate in glands. They account for about 90-95 percent of all colorectal Cancers and have two subtypes, Mucinous and signet ring cell. The Mucinous subtype comprises about 10-15 percent of Adenocarcinomas while the signet ring cell subtype comprises less than 0.1 percent of Adenocarcinomas.
Leiomyosarcomas: This type of Colon Cancer occurs in the smooth muscle of the Colon. Leiomyosarcomas account for less than two percent of colorectal Cancers and have a fairly high chance of metastasizing.
§ Lymphomas: These are the rare and are more likely to start in the rectum than in the Colon. However, lymphomas that start somewhere else in the body are more likely to spread to the Colon than to the rectum.
§ Melanomas: This type of Colon cancer is rare. Usually, it results from a melanoma that started somewhere else and then spread to the Colon or rectum. Melanomas account for less than 2% of colorectal Cancers.
Neuroendocrine Tumors: This tumor is divided into two main categories: aggressive and indolent.
Colorectal cancer, also called colon cancer or large bowel cancer, includes cancerous growths in the colon, rectum and appendix. Colorectal cancers arise from adenomatous polyps in the colon. These mushroom-shaped growths are usually benign, but some develop into cancer over time. Localized colon cancer is usually diagnosed through colonoscopy.
Health history can affect the risk of developing colon cancer.
Anything that increases your chance of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer; not having risk factors doesn’t mean that you will not get cancer. Talk with your doctor if you think you may be at risk. Risk factors include the following:
- A family history of cancer of the colon or rectum.
- Certain hereditary conditions, such as familial adenomatous polyposis and hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC; Lynch Syndrome).
- A history of ulcerative colitis (ulcers in the lining of the large intestine) or Crohn disease.
- A personal history of cancer of the colon, rectum, ovary, endometrium, or breast.
- A personal history of polyps (small areas of bulging tissue) in the colon or rectum.
How is for Colon Cancer diagnosed?
- Colonoscopy:An endoscope is inserted into the rectum and advanced through the colon, through this the doctor can examine the entire colon.
- Diagnosis is confirmed with a colon biopsy – Stage of disease is confirmed by pathologists and imaging tests, such as computerized tomography (CT or CAT) scans.
- Endoscopic ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may also be used to stage rectal cancer
- Sigmoidoscopy:In this an endoscope is interested in the rectum and moved through the left side of the colon. It cannot be used to view the middle and right sides of the colon.
Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) along with Complete blood count (CBC to check for anemia and CT, MRI or PET scans of the abdomen, pelvic area.
Stages of Colon Cancer:-
The staging of colon cancer helps doctors determine a course of treatment. Staging is done on a scale from 0 to 4, with the higher stages indicating a cancer than has spread more throughout the body.
- Stage 0:In this stage, the cancer hasn’t grown beyond the inner layer of the colon or rectum.
- Stage I: The cancer has spread through the colon’s inner lining, but hasn’t spread beyond the colon wall or rectum.
- Stage II:The cancer has grown through the colon or rectal wall, but hasn’t spread to nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage III:The cancer has invaded nearby lymph nodes but isn’t affecting other parts of the body.
- Stage IV:The cancer has metastasized throughout the body to sites such as the liver, lung, ovaries or the lining of the abdominal cavity.
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