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Colon Cancer Essay

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Essay title: Colon Cancer Essay

Colon Cancer

Cancer is considered a genetic disease. Cancer is a group of abnormal cells, known as a tumor, that grow uncontrollably.' Cancerous tumors invade and destroy surrounding tissue. Cancer is named according to the type of organ tissue from which it develops. Nearly eight million people, worldwide, get different types of cancer every year. Colon cancer is the second most common cancer death in the United States.

Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, arises in the lining of the large intestine and rectum.' The colon and rectum are apart of the digestive system. Their main function is to remove wastes from the body and absorb water and other types of nutrients. There are four layers of the colorectal wall. These layers are the Mucosa, the Submucosa, the Muscularis Propria, and the Serosa. It is important to know these layers because the staging of colorectal cancer relates to the degree of penetration of the tumor through the bowel wall.'

Colon cancer patients have a great survival and recovery rate if the cancer is detected early. Often, colon cancer does not give any signs at all until the late stages of the disease. Symptoms of colon cancer include rectal bleeding, dark stools called melena, iron loss, frequent bowel movements, mucus discharge from the rectum, gas pains, and hemorrhoids.' As the tumor in the colon grows, it blocks the bowel which leads to later infections or bleeding in the abdominal cavity. As the tumor spreads, it can cause other types of problems in the body such as liver pains, loss of appetite, or other cancer of the organs.

Colon cancer can be diagnosed in many different ways. Unfortunately, not many are getting tested for the disease until it is too late. Screening for blood in stool is recommended for people over the age of fifty even if they have no risk factors. If there is suspicion of possible colon cancer, there are other more thorough ways to test. One way it can be tested is by having a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a procedure in which doctors can look into the entire colon and collect tissue through the scope.' Another way is an endoscopy. That is where a small tube is used to take a sample of tissue without making an incision, and the tissue is examined for cancer under a microscope.'

After detection of the cancer is made, the cancer is categorized into stages of development. The treatment of the cancer depends on the stage that it is in and the general health of the patient. If cancer is in stage I the cancer is very curable. The reason is because the tumor has not grown beyond the innermost layer of the colon wall and has not begun to spread. In stage II of colon cancer, the cancer starts to spread toward nearby tissue which become a problem if it enters into stage III. The reason is because in stage III, the cancer starts to spread to nearby lymph nodes.

The worse and harder to treat is after stage III. At stage IV, the cancer is completely spreading to other parts of

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