What is Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. It is a malignancy that begins in the colon or large intestine. Most colon cancers begin as benign polyps. These are either flat or knob-like growths on the lining of the large intestine. Occasionally, the growths produce symptoms such as bleeding, constipation or blood in the stool. But often, the cells produce no symptoms at all, so people may not know that they have them. While some polyps remain benign (non-cancerous), some may become malignant (cancerous) over time. Because of this, physicians choose immediately to remove polyps that are found during a colonoscopy.
What Causes polyps?
Colon Cancer vs. Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer begins in the colon or the rectum. Colorectal cancers are also referred to as colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where they start. Colon cancer and rectal cancer are often grouped together because they have many features in common. In order to fully understand Colorectal and Colon Cancer you first must understand the normal structure and function of the colon and rectum. The large intestine is made up of the colon and rectum which is the large bowel. This is part of the digestive system, also called the gastrointestinal (GI) system. Most of the large intestine is made up of the colon, a muscular tube about 5 feet (1.5 meters) long. The sections of the colon are named by which way the food is traveling through them.
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