Colon Cancer
(Colorectal Cancer)

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Colon cancer facts

  • Colorectal cancer is a malignant tumor arising from the inner wall of the large intestine.
  • Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer in males and fourth in females in the U.S.
  • Risk factors for colorectal cancer include a family history of colorectal cancer, colon polyps, and long-standing ulcerative colitis.
  • Most colorectal cancers develop from polyps. Removal of colon polyps can prevent colorectal cancer.
  • Colon polyps and early cancer may have no symptoms. Therefore regular screening is important.
  • Diagnosis of colorectal cancer can be made by barium enema or by colonoscopy with biopsy confirmation of cancer tissue.
  • Treatment of colorectal cancer depends on the location, size, and extent of cancer spread, as well as the health of the patient.
  • Surgery is the most common treatment for colorectal cancer.
  • Chemotherapy can extend life and improve quality of life for those who have had or are living with colorectal cancer.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/8/2014

Colorectal Cancer Pictures Slideshow: Understanding Cancer of the Colon

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Red Meats and Processed Meats Raise Cancer Risk

On Oct. 26, 2015, the cancer agency for the World Health Organization (the International Agency for Research on Cancer or IARC) placed red meats and processed meats into their group system that lists cancer-causing agents. The IARC consists of 22 experts from 10 countries. Cancer-causing agents are referred to as carcinogenic agents. This grouping of carcinogenic agents is based on evidence either:

  • that they can cause cancer (group 1) or
  • that they probably can cause cancer (group 2A) in humans.

This has caused quite a stir in many arenas, especially the beef-producing companies.

Picture of Colon Cancer