Colon cancer (colorectal cancer) what is cancer? what is colon cancer... symptoms, treatments, preventions

Essay by rachel6741High School, 10th grade February 2003

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Colon Cancer

When cells multiply without control, the disease cancer is developed. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world. Usually, cells grow and divide only when the body needs them to help keep the body healthy. Sometimes cells keep dividing when new cells are not needed, forming a mass of tissue called a tumor. There are a variety of symptoms, such as: lumps, changes in warts or moles, a sore that will not heal, indigestion, difficulty swallowing, and unexplained changes in weight. Cancer occurs in animals, plants, and humans. There are many types of cancer; the most common types are: skin, breast, and organs in the digestive, respiratory, reproductive, blood-forming, lymphatic, and urinary systems.

Colon cancer- colorectal cancer- is the second leading cancer that causes death in the United States. People over fifty are more likely to develop colon cancer. Anyone who has parents or siblings with colon cancer, or women who have had ovarian, uterine, or breast cancer is also at higher risk.

Colorectal cancer starts as small benign growths called polyps on the inner wall of the colon and rectum. Symptoms of having this type of cancer are: diarrhea, constipation, blood in stool, abdominal discomfort, weight loss, fatigue, and vomiting. Preventions can be taken to reduce the risk of this cancer. Early detection and removal of polyps in the colon or rectum can help to prevent this cancer. Eating a diet low in fat and high in fiber also may help to reduce the risk.

Surgery is the most common treatment for this type of cancer. After surgery, chemotherapy may be used to destroy any other cancerous cells still in the body. Radiation therapy may also be used to shrink the tumor before surgery, or after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells.