The Truth about Cancer
We all know someone who's had cancer, but you might not know all the facts. Take this quiz to learn about possible causes, consequences and treatments of this infamous and deadly disease.
Last Modified: 2011-02-16 | Tags »
Do you know millions of people suffer from colorectal cancer? Watch this video to learn about various causes of colorectal cancer to reduce the chances of this ailment.
Transcript: Over 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer annually, but what exactly causes cancer...
Over 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer annually, but what exactly causes cancer of the large intestine or rectum? Although the exact cause of colorectal cancer is not known, there are identifiable factors that increase a person's likelihood of developing cancerous growths in the colon and rectum. Most cases of colorectal cancer begin as polyps. These noncancerous growths occur in the rectum and in the large intestine, which is also known as the colon. Damage to the body's chromosomes, which can arise without any clear reason, can lead to the uncontrolled growth of cells, which then form these masses of tissuea, or polyps. Although colon polyps start out benign, they can become cancerous with time. Chromosomal mutations which lead to polyps can also follow from hereditary colon cancer syndromes, which are passed from parent to child at conception. There are four hereditary syndromes that can cause these damages in the chromosomes, each of which is present at birth. But even without a hereditary syndrome, people who have a sibling, parent, or child with the disease have three times the normal rate of developing colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is also linked to several diseases-notably, ulcerative colitis. People with ulcerative colitis experience severe inflammation and ulcer formation on their large intestines. After having the disease for eight years or more, the risk of colon cancer rises dramatically. People who have cancers of the pancreas, breast, ovaries, or uterus, are also more at risk for developing colorectal cancer in the future. Studies have shown that colorectal cancer may also follow from certain lifestyle factors, particularly diet. Consuming many foods high in fat, such as certain meats, dairy products, and cooking oils, may hasten the development of colorectal cancer. This may be because the breakdown of fat can lead to the formation of cancer causing chemicals, or carcinogens. Conversely, people who eat high amounts of fiber, such as whole-grain breads and vegetables, may have a lower risk of developing the disease, as fiber helps rid the bowel of carcinogens. It is also possible that exposure to high levels of environmental toxins, including chlorine and nicotine, may contribute to the development of colorectal cancer. Despite these known risk factors, up to 80 percent of colorectal cancers occur in patients with no family history or known cause of the disease. For this reason, regular screening is vital for all men and women over the age 50. Colorectal cancer is often treatable, so please talk to your doctor if you have a high risk of developing the condition, or you have reached 50 years of age.More »
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Cancer is terrifying, but unless we're faced with the numbers we don't take preventative measures. Get educated about cancer statistics--whether you're learning about a survival rate or your chances of getting sick, you should know the facts.
Last Modified: 2011-02-16 | Tags »
You can prevent or detect colorectal cancer early if you better understand the condition. Watch this video to learn more about colorectal cancer.
Transcript: Colorectal cancer is one of the five leading forms of cancer in the United States, yet many people still...
Colorectal cancer is one of the five leading forms of cancer in the United States, yet many people still dont understand exactly what it is. Colorectal cancer refers to abnormal cells that grow in the rectum or the digestive systems large intestine, which is also called the colon. To better understand colorectal cancer, it helps to examine the body parts affected. A. The large intestine is a long semi circular tube which snakes around B. the small intestine. The organ is wider on the right side than on the left. The colons function is to remove water from stool, and then empty its contents into the rectum. The rectum is a chamber which connects the colon to the anus. It is here that stool is held until defecation occurs. Like all organs in the body, the colon and rectum are made up of cells which divide to produce new cells when old ones die. If cells begin to divide uncontrollably, the result is a built-up mass of tissue. This mass of cells is known as a tumor, and can be benign or malignant. Benign tumors of the large intestine are called polyps and are not usually cancerous. Polyps can also contain small areas of cancer, which are then considered malignant. If a tumor is malignant, it means that colon or rectal cancer has already occurred. The cancerous cells can invade and damage organs near the tumor. Cancerous cells can also break away from the malignant tumor and spread to distant organs. This process, called metastasis, usually means that the colorectal cancer is advanced. While statistically, colorectal cancer is the second deadliest cancer in the United States, with early detection and removal, the five-year survival rate is up to 90 percent! Unfortunately, many cases of colorectal cancer are silent, which means they grow slowly and often do not present symptoms. If a patient DOES have symptoms, they may vary based on where in the large intestine the tumor is located. Because the right side of the large intestine is wider, tumors here have more room to grow and may get quite large without detection. Right-sided colorectal cancers often cause iron deficiency anemia. The symptoms of anemia include fatigue, weakness, and pallor. A tumor of the narrow left colon, on the other hand, often causes bowel obstruction. This can manifest as constipation OR diarrhea, abdominal pain, and narrowed stool. Blood in the stool is another common indicator of colorectal cancer. Although colorectal cancer is common, lifestyle changes, like a diet low in fat and high in fiber, and early removal of the cancer can all make a big impact in preventing and treating the disease. In addition, all adults over 50 should have a colonoscopy every ten years to screen for changes in the colon or rectum that could indicate cancer. Over 150,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year. If you have concerns about this condition, please speak with your doctor.More »
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Colorectal cancer is often asymptomatic and advanced once discovered, so screening for colorectal cancer is critical. Watch video for details.
Transcript: Colorectal cancer is currently the second deadliest cancer in the United States...but with early detection,...
Colorectal cancer is currently the second deadliest cancer in the United States...but with early detection, survival rates are close to 90 percent! Cancers which grow in the rectum or the colon are collectively referred to as colorectal cancer. Because tumors in these organs are often asymptomatic, cancer can develop unnoticed for some time. If left undetected, the cancer cells of tumors can metastasize, or spread to nearby organs. At this point, the likelihood of curing the cancer drops significantly. Early detection and removal, however, can often lead to complete recovery! For this reason, from the time they reach 50, adults should begin regular screening for colorectal cancer. Screening involves an annual examination of the rectum and stool. During the examination, a doctor will insert a gloved finger into the rectum to feel for abnormal growths. Stool samples will also be taken to test for occult blood, which is blood that can leak from a tumor to the stool. Occult blood is not visible to the human eye, and is usually detected via chemical color conversions in a lab. If a doctor feels abnormal growths, or if occult blood is found, he or she will usually recommend an internal screening procedure to check for cancer. One such procedure, called a barium enema x-ray, involves delivering an enema containing liquid barium into the rectum. After the enema, an x-ray is taken. In the picture, the barium outlines the intestines in white, while abnormalities appear as dark shadows. As an alternative x-ray, a sigmoidoscopy or a colonoscopy can be administered to screen for colorectal cancer. Sigmoidoscopy is a screening test where a very thin tube with a light and camera is inserted into the anus, allowing a doctor to clearly see the rectum and lower colon. A total colonoscopy is a similar screening procedure that involves viewing the entire colon. Both sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy allow a doctor to take a biopsy, or tissue sample, of any areas of the colon or rectum that look abnormal. Biopsies can then be tested in a lab for cancerous changes. As part of regular screening for those over 50, sigmoidoscopies are recommended every five years, while colonoscopies are recommended every ten. On the other hand, more frequent screenings are usually recommended for those who have a history of colorectal cancer in their families, as well as for people who have ulcerative colitis. Because studies have shown that sigmoidoscopies can reduce mortality from cancer, regular screenings just make sense! Colorectal cancer is quite common in the United States. If you have questions or concerns about this disease, please make an appointment to speak with your doctor.More »
cancer, colorectal cancer, colon cancer, cancer treatment, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, colorectal surgery, adjuvant therapy, therapy, remedy, large intestine, colon, rectum, tumor, colostomy, colostomy bag, polyps, laparoscopic, digestive disorders cancer, cancer screening, cancer detection, early detection conditions, digestive health
Treating and Diagnosing Colorectal Cancer at an early stage is more affective with a 90% recovery rate. Learn more about the disease and its treatment in this video.
Transcript: Colorectal cancer affects hundreds of thousands and causes more than 50,000 deaths each year. So can...
Colorectal cancer affects hundreds of thousands and causes more than 50,000 deaths each year. So can colorectal cancer be cured? Colorectal cancer can be cured, but only if it's caught early. When diagnosed and treated quickly, five-year survival rates are usually around 90 percent! The standard treatment for cancer in the colon and rectum is surgery, which involves removing the tumor, a small amount of healthy tissue on either side of the cancer, and nearby lymph nodes. If the rectum is affected as well as the colon, the rectum will also be removed. After removal of the rectum, the surgeon will create an opening on the abdominal wall, called a colostomy. A bag is then attached to this opening, allowing body waste to be expelled. Some patients, like those with cancer in an early stage, or those with pre-cancerous polyps, may not need to undergo a full surgery. Instead, a doctor may perform a minimally invasive laparascopic procedure, which doesn't require a large incision. a. Instead, a few small cuts are made on the abdomen, b. and a lighted, flexible tube, called a laparascope, c. is inserted into the body. The laparascope transmits pictures of the intestines onto a video monitor, allowing the surgeon to see them. Surgical instruments are then inserted through the small incisions and the tumors are removed. Sometimes, the size or location of a tumor may make it difficult to perform surgery. In addition, surgery is less effective for cancers that are more advanced, attached to an internal organ, or to the abdomen lining. In patients such as these, radiation therapy, which is treatment with high-energy x-rays, may be used to kill cancer cells. Although radiation treatment is effective, side effects can include skin irritation in the treated areas, fatigue, nausea, and low libido. Chemotherapy is a treatment which uses medication to kill cancer cells. It is often the method of choice for cancer that has spread to adjacent lymph nodes or that has penetrated more deeply into the colon. The treatment can also be used to destroy microscopic cancer cells which may remain after colorectal surgery. This is known as adjuvant therapy. Chemotherapy medication can be taken orally, intravenously, or it can be injected directly into the artery leading to the tumor, which is called regional chemotherapy. Chemotherapy may also have temporary, but severe, side effects, including nausea and vomiting, hair loss, and extreme fatigue. In addition to these current treatments, new research is being conducted to find alternative therapies, as well as more effective cures for advanced cancers. Colorectal cancer can be life-threatening if allowed to progress, yet it can usually be cured with early treatment! Therefore, it's important to talk to your doctor about regular screening if you're over 50, or if you have a family history of cancer.More »
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