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Colon Cancer

more about Colon Cancer

Colorectal cancer or rectal cancer


  • This is a cancer that is located in the colon (large intestine) and/or rectum. Colon Polyps are a major cause of colon cancer. It is believed that certain types of polyps (adenomatous) eventually turn into cancer if not removed. Colon cancer may also occur without polyps in certain diseases, such as ulcerative colitis.

  • May be none
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Diarrhea -- new
  • Constipation -- new
  • Abdominal pain
  • Pain in rectum after a bowel movement
  • Blood in bowel movements

  • Laboratory findings:
    1. Anemia
    2. CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen protein) level may be elevated
  • Tests:
    1. Colonoscopy
    2. CT scan of abdomen to check for spread of cancer
    3. Rectal Ultrasound for rectal cancer

  • Adenomatous polyps
  • Age over 50
  • Family history of Colorectal Cancer
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • History of gynecologic cancer
  • Barrett's esophagus syndrome
  • Genetic nonpolyp syndromes
  • Familial polyposis syndromes (i.e., genetic diseases with multiple Colon Polyps)

  • Surgical removal of the cancer
  • Surgical removal of metastases (tumor spread) to liver and lung may be considered.
  • Chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment for more advanced Colorectal Cancer.

    1. Hemoccult cards -- set of three cards check for blood in stool every year, plus flexible Sigmoidoscopy (short scope placed in rectum) every three to five years.
    2. Flexible Sigmoidoscopy plus Barium Enema every 5 to 10 years
    3. Colonoscopy every 5 to 10 years
  • Comment -- the latest studies show that Colonoscopy is the best choice for finding cancer early. It is more expensive than the other tests.

  • Diet

- It is unclear whether high-fiber diets (bran, whole grains) prevent Colorectal Cancer. For high-risk individuals, a high-fiber diet is still recommended.

more about Colon Cancer

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