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What is it?
and rectal cancers develop in your large intestine, the lower
part of your intestinal tract. Most begin as small, noncancerous
(benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Over time
some of these polyps become cancerous.
cancer is preventable through regular testing, and through the
removal of polyps (adenomas) in the colon, which often grow
into cancerous tumors. You can greatly reduce your risk of getting
colorectal cancer by making healthy choices and taking a few
simple and easy steps - steps which could save your life.
more information http://www.mayoclinic.com
puts me at risk?
- Inflammatory intestinal conditions. Long-standing inflammatory
diseases of the colon, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's
disease can increase your risk.
history. You're more likely to develop colorectal cancer
if you have a parent, sibling or child with the disease. If
many family members have colon or rectal cancer, your risk is
and race. In the United States men are at higher risk of colon cancer
than are women; and, blacks have a greater risk than other racial
groups. Between 1973 and 1992, colon cancer increased by 40
percent among black men and 16 percent among black women. But
since the incidence of colon cancer is far less in Africa than
the rest of the world, the risk appears to be associated with
living in an industrialized nation, rather than with race per
- Diet. Researchers have long believed that eating a low-fiber diet
- a diet that doesn't include many fruits, vegetables or whole
grains - greatly increases your risk of colon cancer. A diet
high in fats, especially the saturated fats found in red meat,
butter, dairy foods, and coconut and palm oils, seems to increase
your risk of colon cancer as well as your risk of heart disease.
and alcohol. Smoking seems to increase your risk of colon
cancer. Drinking alcohol in excess also may increase your risk.
The combination of smoking and excessive drinking makes it even
more likely you'll develop colon cancer.
sedentary lifestyle. If you're inactive, you're more likely to develop colon cancer,
although not rectal cancer. This may be because when you're
inactive, waste stays in your colon longer. Getting regular
physical activity may actually cut your risk of colon cancer
For more information on family history, log onto:
U.S. Surgeon General’s Family History Initiative
plenty of fruits and vegetables.
recommended amounts of calcium and folic acid.
fat, especially saturated fat.
physically active and maintain a healthy body weight.
hormone replacement therapy.
for Early Detection
methods are currently in use to screen for colorectal cancer:
- The fecal occult blood test (FOBT), flexible
sigmoidoscopy (flex sig) or sigmoidoscopy, double contrast barium
enema (DCBE), and colonoscopy
are methods used to screen for colorectal cancer . A digital rectal exam (DRE) should be done before a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, but it is not recommended as a screening method when used alone.
The FOBT is not specific to colorectal
cancer or polyps, but may be used to determine whether a more
specific test is needed. A sigmoidoscopy provides a view of
the rectum and part of the distal colon and has been shown to
reduce colorectal cancers of that site by up to 59%.
the colonoscopy and double contrast barium enema (DCBE) can
provide a view of the entire colon and rectum, and these are
therefore the only screening tests able to detect cancers of
the proximal colon. The colonoscopy, however, has higher sensitivity
than the DCBE; it has been shown to detect new cancers by up
to 66%. New screening tests on the horizon include virtual colonoscopy,
immunochemical testing, and genetic-based fecal screening. (See table for a summary of current colorectal cancer screening
types of standard treatment for colon and/or rectal cancer are
used. These include the following:
- Local excision: If the cancer is found at a very early stage,
the doctor may remove it without cutting through the abdominal
wall. Instead, the doctor may put a tube through the rectum
into the colon and cut the cancer out. This is called a
local excision. If the cancer is found in a polyp (a small
bulging piece of tissue), the operation is called a polypectomy.
- Resection: If the cancer is larger, the doctor will perform
a colectomy (removing the cancer and a small amount of healthy
tissue around it). The doctor may then perform an anastomosis
(sewing the healthy parts of the colon together). The doctor
will also usually remove lymph nodes near the colon and
examine them under a microscope to see whether they contain
- Resection and colostomy: If the doctor is not able to sew
the 2 ends of the colon back together, a stoma (an opening)
is made on the outside of the body for waste to pass through.
This procedure is called a colostomy. Sometimes the colostomy
is needed only until the lower colon has healed, and then
it can be reversed. If the doctor needs to remove the entire
lower colon, however, the colostomy may be permanent.
- Chemotherapy- Chemotherapy works by interfering with the cells
ability to function and reproduce, usually by affecting DNA
synthesis and/or function. It may be injected into the blood
stream or taken as tablets.
- Radiation therapy: The use of x-rays and other forms of radiation
in an attempt to destroy malignant cells and tissue. There are
various forms or methods, most now conducted with computers.
- Other types of treatment are being tested in clinical trials.
These include the following:
- Biological therapy- This treatment uses materials produced
by the body or manufactured in a laboratory to boost, direct,
or restore your body's natural defenses against disease.
One type of biological therapy called biological response
modifier (BRM) therapy, or immunotherapy, is sometimes used
to treat cancer.
- Chemotherapy (for rectal cancer only)
more detailed information, please visit: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/colon-and-rectal
For information on finding a doctor or treatment facility, log onto: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Therapy/doctor-facility
- Clinical trials are research studies in which people help doctors find ways to improve health and cancer care. Each study tries to answer scientific questions and to find better ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat cancer.
- A clinical trial is one of the final stages of a long and careful cancer research process. Studies are done with cancer patients to find out whether promising approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment are safe and effective.
- Different types of clinical trials include:
For more information on clinical trials, log onto:
- Treatment trials
- Prevention trials
- Screening trials
- Quality of life trials
Effects of Cancer
For more information on Palliative Care, log on to:
care is a coordinated, inter-disciplinary approach to healthcare
that enhances the quality of life of patients with cancer
and other illnesses. It targets the physical and psychological
symptoms and spiritual needs of patients from the time of
diagnosis to end-of-life care in all settings.
Children Coping with Parents with Colorectal Cancer
more about all different types of cancers.
that children might have dealing with cancer.
to help children understand more about certain cancers.
from other children.
more information- CancerSourceKids
Cancer Control Plan
New Jersey State Cancer Registry