- 15 min15 minutes
- Depends on ConsultDepends on Consult
- Location 1
Colorectal cancer is an abnormal growth of tissue (tumor) in the colon or rectum that is cancerous (malignant). Unlike non cancerous (benign) tumors, malignant tumors can spread to other parts of your body. The colon is the large bowel or large intestine. The rectum is the last several inches of the colon. RISK FACTORS The exact cause of colorectal cancer is unknown. However, the following factors may increase your chances of getting colorectal cancer: • Age older than 50 years. • Abnormal growths (polyps) on the inner wall of the colon or rectum. • Family history • Eating a diet that is high in fat (especially animal fat) and low in fiber, fruits, and vegetables. • Smoking , Excessive alcohol use. SYMPTOMS Early colorectal cancer often does not cause symptoms. As the cancer grows, symptoms may include: • Changes in bowel habits. • Diarrhea. • Constipation. • Feeling like the bowel does not empty completely after a bowel movement. • Blood in the stool. • Stools that are narrower than usual. • Abdominal discomfort, pain, bloating, fullness, or cramps. • Frequent gas pain. • Unexplained weight loss. • Constant tiredness. • Nausea and vomiting. DIAGNOSIS Your health care provider will ask about your medical history. He or she may also perform a number of procedures, such as: • A digital rectal exam. • A fecal occult blood test. • Imaging tests, such as CT scans or MRIs. • A colonoscopy to view the inside of your entire colon. • An endo rectal ultrasound to see how deep a rectal tumor has grown and whether the cancer has spread to lymph nodes or other nearby tissues. Cancer will be staged to determine its severity and extent. TREATMENT Depending on the type and stage, colorectal cancer may be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or radiofrequency ablation. Some people have a combination of these therapies. Surgery may be done to remove the polyps from your colon. In early stages, your health care provider may be able to do this during a colonoscopy. In later stages, surgery may be done to remove part of your colon.