Someone years ago, said something to the effect that growing old is not for the faint-of-heart and as we all grow older we understand what that really means. Not only does our skin grow thinner as does our hair, but we also lose the elasticity of the skin resulting in wrinkles and sags in all the places we don’t want them. Our vision and hearing often begins to fail. We also learn that the older we get, the more susceptible we become to developing various illnesses and conditions, including colon cancer.
Each year in the United States, there are close to 100,000 new cases of colorectal cancer. Cancer of the rectum frequently coincides with colon cancer and are often referred to together as colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer related deaths.
Colorectal cancer is generally caused with cells in the colon begin to grow uncontrollably. They often originate as noncancerous tumors called adenomatous polyps in the small intestine. In time, some of the polyps become cancerous, infecting surrounding healthy tissue and spreading outward. Cancerous cells can also use the lymphatic and circulatory systems to spread to other parts of the body. Most of the cells in our bodies are designed to multiply a limited number of times and then they die. In the case of many cancers, like colon cancer, the cells do not die but continue to grow and replicate.
Once we reach a certain age, which varies according to sources, we are all recommended to have a colonoscopy, an exam to look for any signs of cancer or precancerous polyps.
“Colon cancer usually derives from precancerous polyps that exist in the large intestine. The most common types of polyps are: