Archive for September, 2014

Colon Cancer

What Is the Colon?

The colon is a long, muscular hollow tube about 6 feet long and is the part of the digestive system where waste material is stored. It receives undigested food from the small intestine. It removes water from the undigested food, stores it and then finally eliminates it from the body through bowel movements. The rectum is the end of the colon beside the anus or back passage.

What Are the Risk Factors for Colon Cancer?

Factors that have been shown to increase a man’s risk of colon cancer include a diet high in fat, polyps in the colon, a family history of colorectal cancer and medical conditions such as ulcerative colitis.

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Diet and Colon Cancer

Diets high in saturated fat are believed to increase the risks of colon cancer. In countries with high rates of bowel cancer, the fat intake by the population is much higher than in countries with low cancer rates. Breakdown products of fat metabolism are thought to lead to the formation of cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens). Diets high in vegetables and high-fibre foods such as wholegrain breads and cereals may rid the bowel of these carcinogens and help reduce the risk of cancer.

Colon Polyps and Colon Cancer

Polyp is the name given to small mushroom-like growths that can appear on the lining of the colon. Colon polyps are initially benign but over years can acquire additional chromosome damage to become cancerous. Some polyps can be pre-cancerous but can be present for many years before they turn into cancer. Doctors believe that most colon cancers develop in colon polyps. Therefore, removing benign colon polyps can prevent colorectal cancer. This can be easily done during a colonoscopy.

Know Your Genes – The Genetics of Colon Cancer

Your genetic makeup is an important colon cancer risk factor. The lifetime risk of developing colon cancer is thought to be about 3 per cent. But, if a first degree relative (parent, sibling or child) has bowel cancer then your lifetime risk increases to 9 per cent. However, despite this hereditary risk, most colon cancers still occur in patients who have no family history of colon cancer.

Men who have hereditary colon cancer syndrome tend to develop large numbers of colon polyps at a young age, and are at a very high risk of developing colon cancer early in life buy Australia Pharmacy Viagra. Such a person can develop hundreds or thousands of colon polyps, starting during the teenage years, and is almost certain to develop colon cancer from these polyps by the age of 40. They are also at risk of developing cancers in other organs. Treatment involves removal of the colon at an early age.

Sexual and Reproductive Health in Young People with Cystic Fibrosis

Genetic and ethical considerations

Both genetic and ethical issues need to be considered when discussing these issues with young people with CF and their families. They need to be kept in mind with adolescents as much as adults, as the expectations and attitudes that are formed about future relationships and parenting roles can be as much refined through the lens of what is said or left unsaid in health consultations, as they are more dominantly formed by family and culture.

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All children of people affected by CF will at least be CF carriers, but the risk of having a child with CF depends on the carrier status of the non-CF partner. If the non-CF partner is tested and known not to be a carrier, the risk of CF in any children is very low (but not zero, due to the possibility of there being a CF mutation that is undetected on screening). In the uncommon situation where the non-CF partner is found to be a carrier, there is a 50 per cent chance that each pregnancy will be homozygous4 for CF. In this situation, antenatal diagnosis using chorionic villus sampling can identify whether a fetus is or is not homozygous for CF, with the option of terminating an affected fetus. More recently, the use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis with selective implantation of an unaffected fetus has also become available in some places. Other options for reproduction are the use of donor sperm or oocytes. Assisted reproductive technologies are widely available but expensive, and carry with them complex emotional and psycho-social issues. Providers of these technologies have generally taken the position that reproductive decisions are personal, with it being unethical to prohibit the use of reproductive services on social grounds.

Not all people with CF would consider the possibility of having a child with CF unacceptable, an issue that obviously needs to be dealt with sensitively. To assume that parents would choose to terminate an affected fetus could be interpreted as devaluing the life of the person with CF being counselled. A French study reported that of 64 children born to Viagra Canada with CF, four had inherited CF. In two of these four, the parents had chosen not to have antenatal testing undertaken. How-ever, the use of genetic technologies varies widely between different populations. For example, in the situation where couples have a child with CF and have a subsequent pregnancy, 66 per cent of Australian women used prenatal diagnosis and chose to terminate 10 of the 12 affected pregnancies.