The Silent Killer Of Men

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    Nov 05, 2012
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Colon cancer is a result of a malignant tumor that arises in the inner wall of the large intestine. In the United States alone this type of cancer is the third leading cause of cancer in men and the fourth leading cause in woman. The majority of cancers of the large intestine arise from the inner cells. The cells are exposed to toxins from food and bacteria as well as the constant dying and reproducing of these cells. This process is key because when mistakes involving genes and cell replacement occur, uncontrolled proliferation of abnormal cells give rise to cancer. Cancers of the colon are a direct result of frequent mistakes in the mucosal cell division. When this occurs, cells begin to divide in a way that contradicts the normal process that controls growth. As these subversive cells continue to grow and divide, they can lead to abnormal growths within the colon called polyps.

Polyps are precancerous tumors that grow slowly, but do not spread. Unfortunately as these polyps grow, additional genetic growths further destabilize the cells. When these precancerous tumors begin to grow through the tube and not the middle of it, they ingratiate themselves with other layers of the intestine and the polyps becomes cancerous. The normal time frame takes at least eight to ten years to develop into cancer. Once formed, colon cancer grows in two ways. One, the cancer grows locally and continues through the wall of the intestine and penetrates adjacent structures. Consequently, this allows the primary tumor to become more of a problem and harder to remove. Through this penetration additional symptoms occur such as frequent pain and blockages of the colon. As this continues the cancerous cells begin the process of metastasis. This is the shedding of thousands of cells a day into the blood and lymphatic system, which enables the cancer to spread and develop in other locations. Professionals believe once the lymph nodes are attacked the liver, abdominal cavity, and the lung are the most common destinations of the metastatic spread. The factors that increase the risk of colon cancer include high fat intake, family history, polyps residing in the large intestine, and inflammatory bowel diseases. The relationship between a high fat diet and high colon cancer rates are staggering. In fact, statistics show that countries with a high fat intake also have very high colon cancer rates. Diets high in vegetables and high-fiber foods contain less fat and help considerably in the fight against colon cancer.

In regards to prevention, early detection and removal of precancerous polyps before they turn cancerous. This remains true even if the cancer has already developed. Early detection still substantially improves the chances of beating this disease. Professionals in the industry recommend that individuals forty years of age and up to have yearly digital examinations of their rectum and stool. This is to ensure there aren't any abnormal growths in your rectum or occult blood in your stool. There is a thirty to forty-five percent chance that a person who has a positive stool test has a colon polyp. And a three to five percent chance of having colon cancer. Genetic counseling and testing is another option available in the prevention of colon cancer. This process involves the testing of blood for various hereditary colon cancer syndromes. As far as treatment is concerned, surgery remains the most viable option. Once the cancer is diagnosed, several other test are performed to determine the extent of the disease. This is known as staging which has four different levels. Each level has a designated treatment plan based on the advancement of the disease.

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