Colorectal Cancer Awareness - Home

Colorectal Cancer Awareness

Date: December 11, 2016

Colorectal cancer is a disease in which cells in the colon or rectum become abnormal, divide without control and form masses called tumors.  These abnormal cells that develop can also invade and destroy tissue around the colon and rectum, causing further damage to the area.  In addition, these tumors may separate and create new tumors in other parts of the body.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of non-skin cancer in men (after prostate and lung) and in woman (after breast and lung).  Overall, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related death in the United States after lung cancer.  According to the (CDC) Centers for Disease Control,  136,119 people were diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2013, with nearly 51,813 dying from the disease.  Statistics by the CDC also show that the risk associated with colorectal cancer increase with age and is also slightly higher in men than women.

Some of the symptoms associated with colorectal cancer are as follows:

  • Blood in or on your stool (bowel movement)
  • Pain, aches or cramps in your stomach that happen for unknown reasons
  • Change in bowel habits and consistency
  • Losing weight for unknown reasons

Getting screened or tested for colorectal cancer is the best method of preventing, controlling or treating the disease.  Colorectal cancer usually starts from polyps in the colon or rectum that should not be present.  These polyps or growths can turn into cancer over time.  Screening for the polyps is essential in removing the growths before they can become cancerous.

There are a number of screenings and tests available.  The most familiar is the colonoscopy.  This test is performed through invasive means of checking for polyps and growths in the rectum and colon.  Tests vary is frequency, depending on your age, family history and initial findings during your first screening.  As always, you should consult with your physician regarding screenings, frequency of tests, risk factors, family history, and so on.

If you would like more information on colorectal cancer, please check out the following websites:

http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/basic_info/index.htm

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/detection/colorectal-screening

https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/pdf/basic_fs_eng_color.pdf

http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@nho/documents/document/colorectalcancer.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/statistics/

http://holyname.org/ColorectalServices/index.aspx