Colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer, can take years to develop. If left unrecognized and untreated, it can lead to serious health complications, including the spreading of cancer to other vital areas of the body. Take this quiz and learn about the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of colorectal cancer.
The colon actually begins at the small intestine and ends at the rectum. Therefore, colorectal cancer involves the colon and the intestine.
Colorectal cancer starts in the lining of the bowel. Colorectral cancer develops over a long period of time and typically grows down the colon.
Dark stools, called melena are a sign of colorectal cancer. Smaller stools are also a symptom of colorectal cancer.
There are several signs that may point to colorectal cancer, including blood in the stool, anemia, gas pain, abdominal distress, hemorrhoids, changes in bowel habits and mucous discharge from the rectum.
If left untreated, colorectal cancer can spread throughout the body, reeking havoc on other bodily systems. It can lead to liver cancer, jaundice, liver pain, lung cancer, loss of appetite and weight loss.
Colorectal cancer may also cause thrombophlebitis, which is an inflammation of the veins in the leg, muscle problems, swollen lymph nodes, and rare conditions that cause skin discoloration.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common form of cancer. People over the age of 40 are at increased risk for developing colorectal cancer.
Ulcerative colitis, which is an inflammation of the colon that leads to ulcers, is a risk factor for developing colorectal cancer.
You are at greater risk of developing colorectal cancer if you have a family history of the condition. Smoking, environmental factors, and polyps are also risk factors for developing colorectal cancer.
Eating a lot of meat and not enough fiber may place you at risk for developing colorectal cancer.
A diet high in calcium and fiber can prevent colorectal cancer. Also consider taking aspirin and vitamin E, both of which have been found to reduce colorectal cancer risk.
A sigmoidoscopy involves placing a small tube up your rectum so that your doctor can examine your sigmoid colon.
Your risk of developing colorectal cancer drastically increases after age 50. For this reason, it is recommended that you have a sigmoidoscopy every three to five years.
People who have a strong family history of colorectal cancer, a history of polyps or ulcerative colitis, may choose to undergo a colectomy, which involves removing the colon.
Your doctor can easily remove colorectal polyps by doing a sigmoidoscopy. Removal of colorectal polyps is essential, because if left inside your colon, these polyps can become cancerous.
Colorectal cancer can be diagnosed several ways, by a colonoscopy, by an endoscopy, or by colon surgery.
Stage B1 and B2 colorectal cancer indicates that the cancer has spread to the bowel, but not to the lymph nodes or anywhere else.
Stage D colorectal cancer indicates that the cancer has spread to the bowel, lymph nodes and other sites, such as the lungs or liver.
The prognosis of recovery from Stage D colorectal cancer is unlikely. Someone with Stage D colorectal cancer may be able to survive for weeks or even years, depending on the nature and location of the cancer.
Colorectal cancer is treated with aggressive radiation and chemotherapy, which typically results in several significant side effects. Side effects include: bladder inflammation, erectile dysfunction, inflammation of the prostate and pelvic burns.