Archive for the ‘Cancer’ Category

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.

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.