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Colon Cancer is the Third Most Commonly Diagnosed Cancer

Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world and is most common in developed countries. Colon cancer prognosis is very much dependent on the stage that the cancer is in when detected and treated.

Colon cancer is the third most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Cancer is often a very sad and painful subject to talk about especially if you or someone you know has been affected by it. Colon cancer is also known as colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancers often start in the lining of the bowel and if left untreated can grow into the muscle. Most begin as a small growth on the bowel wall which is called a colorectal polyp. These mushroom-shaped growths are usually benign, but some can develop into serious cancer.

Symptoms include changes in bowel habits, lower gastrointestinal bleeding and blood in the stool.

The lifetime risk of developing colon cancer in the United States is about 7%. Factors that increase risk are age, family history of cancer, smoking and poor diet.

Colorectal cancer can take many years to develop and early detection of colorectal cancer greatly improves the chances of survival.

There are several different tests available for this screening which includes a digital rectal exam.

The doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to feel for abnormal areas. It only detects tumors large enough to be felt in the distal part of the rectum but is useful as an initial screening test.

Tests for blood in the stool are also useful.

A colonoscopy involves placing a lighted probe into the rectum and the entire colon to look for polyps and other abnormalities that may be caused by cancer. A colonoscopy has the advantage that if polyps are found during the procedure they can be removed immediately. Tissue can also be taken for biopsy to screen for cancer.

The best course of action is also prevention and regular screening. Lifestyle is important, eat healthy, get regular exercise and dont smoke. Make regular visits to your doctor and get tested.

The information provided is for discussion purposes only and not to be used for diagnosis or treatment. A medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment.

Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine, the lower part of your digestive system. Rectal cancer is cancer of the last 6 inches of the colon. Together, theyre often referred to as colorectal cancers.