190px-Stomach_colon_rectum_diagram.svg.png colon_cancer.jpg
  • colon cancer
    • cancer growths in the colon, rectum, and appendix
    • it is the third leading cancer in the U.S. and the second leading cause for death in cancer
      • it causes 655,000 deaths each year
    • it is though to originate from adenomatous polyps in the colon
      • they are usually benign but some of them develop cancer
      • they are mushroom shaped
    • colon cancer can take many years to develop
  • diagnosis and treatment
    • the most common way to diagnose colon cancer is through a colonoscopy
      • removing polyps in the colon during you colonoscopy will lessen your chances of getting colon cancer
    • almost all cases are treated with surgery and is fallowed by chemotherapy
    • doctors recommend frequent frequent screening for colon cancer with... fecal occult blood testing and colonoscopys
    • the sooner the diagnosis the better chance you have at living
    • fecal occult blood tests
      • a test for blood in the stools
    • endoscopy
      • sigmoidoscopy
        • a probe with a light on the end is put into the rectum and lower colon in order to check for polyps and other abnormalities
      • colonoscopy
        • a colonscope (a lighted probe) is put in the rectum and the entire colon to look for polyps and other abnormalities that may lead to colon cancer... polyps can be removed and tissue can be taken for biopsy's

** digital rectal exam
      • the doctor sticks a finger up the rectum to feel for any abnormalities
    • early diagnosis of colon cancer can be treated and cured
    • surgery fall in to one of 5 categories... curative, palliative, bypass, fecal diversion, or open-and-close.
      • curative surgery
        • can only take place if the cancer is "localized"
      • palliative
        • incurable
        • removal of isolated liver metastasis
      • bypass and fecal diversion
        • if the rumor has invaded surrounding organs and structures
      • open-and-close
        • when the doctors feel that any surgery would do more harm than good
        • they open the body and then close it again
  • symptoms
    • it is possible to have no symptoms until the cancer has reached advanced levels
    • symptoms depend on where the cancer is located
      • the closer it is to the anus the more symptoms will appear in bowel movements
    • changes in bowel movements
      • changes in number of times you go
      • changes in the quality
      • changes in the consistency
    • bloody stools
    • rectal bleeding
    • mucus filled stools
    • reduction in the diameter of feces
    • bowel obstruction
    • anemia
      • dizziness
      • less red blood cells
      • iron deficient
      • fatigue
    • constitutional symptoms
      • anorexia
      • weakness
      • weight loss for no reason
    • metastatic symptoms
      • losing your breath easily (shortness of breath)
      • pain in the upper right part of the body
      • could be liver enlargement
      • blocking the travel of bile
  • risks
    • the risk of getting colon cancer increases as you get older
    • most cases are found in adults between the ages of 50 and 60... cases earlier than 50 are rare... unless early development of colon cancer runs in your family
    • people who have been diagnosed and treated for colon cancer in the past are way more likely to get colon cancer again in the future
    • women who have had breast, ovary, and uterus cancer are at a greater risk of developing colon cancer
    • heredity (increasing your risk of getting colon cancer):
      • relatives with colon cancer who get it at an early age
      • close relatives (more than one relative) having colon cancer
      • familial adenomatous polyposis give you a 100% chance of developing colon cancer if it goes untreated before the age of 40ColonCancer.jpg
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