Colon cancer is the second leading cause of colon and rectal cancer, with more than 140,000 new cases every year. The colon and rectum are part of the large intestine (colon). It starts when cells in the colon or rectum grow out of control. Over time these cells can form a tumor that eventually may spread to other parts of the body. A colonoscopy is one way to screen during a routine checkup with your doctor.
During this examination, your doctor will insert a long thin, flexible tube into your colon through an opening in your abdomen called a proctoscope or sigmoidoscope. If there are any abnormal areas where some cells have grown too much, they will be able to remove them during the colonoscopy.
What is colon cancer?
Colon cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the colon, which is the long, coiled tube that runs from the small intestine to the rectum. It is the second most common cancer in men and women in the United States.
What are the symptoms of colon cancer?
The most common symptoms of colon cancer are changes in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, and abdominal pain.
What are the causes of colon cancer?
There are many different causes of colon cancer, such as family history, age, diet, and lifestyle choices.
What are the stages of colon cancer?
There are four stages of colon cancer: stages I, II, III, and IV. Each stage describes what has happened to the cancer and what it is still possible to do to treat it.
Stage I is the earliest stage and is when the cancer is found only in the colon. Stage II is when the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes next to the colon. Stage III is when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver or lungs. Stage IV is the most advanced stage and is when the cancer has spread throughout the body.
What happens at each stage of colon cancer?
At each stage of colon cancer, different treatments are still possible.
Stage I is usually treated with surgery to remove the cancer. Stage II is treated with surgery and radiation therapy. Stage III is treated with a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Stage IV is usually treated with chemotherapy.
Is colon cancer curable?
There is no cure for colon cancer at stage IV, but there are treatments that can prolong a person's life.
Why is it important to get a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopies are the best way to detect colon cancer early when it is still curable. They are also a way to screen for colon cancer in people who do not have any symptoms.
Colonoscopies are important because they are the best way to detect colon cancer early when it is still curable. They are also a way to screen for it in people who do not have any symptoms. Early detection is important because it increases the chances that the cancer can be cured. If it is detected at a later stage, when it has spread to other parts of the body, it is not as likely to be cured.
Getting a colonoscopy can also help prevent colon cancer from developing. Colonoscopies can find precancerous polyps, which are small growths on the colon that can turn into cancer. If polyps are found and removed, the chances of developing are reduced.
For these reasons, it is important for everyone to get a colonoscopy at least once every ten years. Talk to your doctor about when you should get your colonoscopy.
It is important to get a screening done because it can be in an early stage, and it may not show any symptoms yet. Colonoscopy screenings are the best way to tell if you have colon cancer or not. If you do have colon cancer, then your doctor will know how far the disease has progressed.