Colorectal cancer is a term used for the cancer of the rectum and colon. To know and understand colorectal cancer better, it is important to know the anatomy of the stomach.
Here are some of the quick facts.
Understanding the anatomy
The digestive tract of the body is tubular structure and includes the large intestine. The large intestine consists of two major parts – colon and rectum. While the colon is about 4-6 feet long, the rectum is around 4-6 inches long. The colorectal tube is prone to certain kind of small tumors, which are also known as polyps in medical terms. People over the age of 50 are more susceptible to polyps. Polyps that are formed in the granular tissue of the colorectal tube often lead to the development of colorectal cancer. Only the adenomatous polyps of all types are known to be pre-cancerous. Mostly, larger polyps transform and develop into cancer, but this may differ from case to case.
There are no early signs of colorectal cancer in most cases, which is why it is detected much later and is often hard to treat. In most cases, patients have changes in their bowel movement (either constipation or diarrhea) that can last for many days. Blood in the stool, rectal bleeding, pain in the abdomen, fatigue, and cramping are some of the other signs. Patients may also have unexplained weight loss.
What increases the risk of colorectal cancer?
Certain lifestyle factors have been linked to colorectal cancer, which includes obesity, lack of physical activity, and eating red meats such as pork, beef, and liver. It is possible to change some of these lifestyle factors, but certain other things are beyond control, such as aging. Patients who have a history of colorectal polyps and inflammatory bowel disease are also at a higher risk of suffering from cancer. Some resources state that a history of colorectal cancer in the family may also increase the risks.
It is more than important to contact digestive and liver disease consultants for signs of colorectal cancer. If the tumor is still “localized”, it is possible to treat cancer completely. However, when undetected, the cancer growth may spread to the other parts of the abdomen and into the blood, which can lead to serious complications. Both colon and rectum cancers are not uncommon, especially in people over the age of 50.
Talk to your doctor today!