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Colorectal cancer

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Author: Janet Donald

Colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer is a common type of cancer in the United States. It is the second most common cause of death from cancer in the country. Colorectal cancer requires surgery in nearly all cases for complete cure. Radiation and chemotherapy are sometimes used in addition to surgery. Colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. Sometimes it is called colon cancer, for short.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) accounts for an estimated 153,000 cases and 52,000 deaths in the US annually. In Western countries, the colon and rectum account for more new cases of cancer per year than any anatomic site except the lung. Colorectal cancer is a multicentric disease. If multiple adenomas are found, the risk of subsequent carcinoma is 4.8 times greater than the expected risk. Colorectal cancer, which affects men and women equally, is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Caught early, colorectal cancer is 90 percent curable.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer among both men and women in the United States. It is also the third most common cause of cancer death among men and women separately (and the second most common cause of cancer death total if men and women are combined) in the United States. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most prevalent cancer in Canada and third in the United States for men and women combined [1 ,2 ]. With increased early detection and effective treatment, as well as an aging population, the number of CRC survivors is growing significantly. Colorectal cancer, also called large bowel cancer, is the term used to describe malignant tumors found in the colon and rectum. The colon and rectum are part of the large intestine of the digestive system, usually referred to as the gastrointestinal tract .

Colorectal cancer is cancer that starts in either the colon or the rectum. Colon cancer and rectal cancer have many features in common. Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. In 1996, an estimated 133,500 new cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed, and approximately 54,900 people died of the disease. Colorectal cancer usually begins as a buttonlike swelling on the surface of the intestinal or rectal lining or on a polyp. As the cancer grows, it begins to invade the wall of the intestine or rectum.

Colorectal cancer tends to develop slowly over many years, and starts out as precancerous lesions or polyps. When detected and treated early enough, colorectal cancer is usually curable. Colorectal cancer is more common in older people, so doctors usually screen people 50 years of age and older. Some people have risk factors that make them more likely to get colorectal cancer at a young age. Colorectal cancer is a common condition affecting 6% of all Americans or one person in every 17. Though most cancer occurs sporadically, it is estimated that 5 to 10 percent of all colorectal cancers are explained by a specific hereditary predisposition.

Colorectal cancer is prevented by removing precancerous colon polyps . It is cured if it is found early and is surgically removed before it spreads to other parts of the body. Colorectal cancer is usually found in people ages 50 and older. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for colorectal cancer for people ages 50 and older. Colorectal cancer may run in families through inherited conditions called familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). These conditions account for up to 10 percent of all colorectal cancers.

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