Colorectal cancer with a large bowel disease is one of the most common cancers in both males and females; approximately 15% of all cancers. About 190 000 new patients are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year in Europe. Approximately one-fifth of the patients have metastasis at the diagnosis stage (disseminated to tissue or organs other than thickening). Approximately half of patients with colorectal cancer develop metastasis and die. About 55 000 people die each year in the United States. This number exceeds 100 000 in Europe.
Column and Rectum
The colon and rectum are part of the digestive system. Its function is to separate the nutrients from the residues, and store them until they are removed from the body. These two long, muscle-shaped, tubular parts together form the thickest bowel.
The length of the column is approximately 180-190 cm, while the rectum is approximately 20-25 cm.
Cancer formation process
Because cancer has similar characteristics, it is a general definition given to many diseases collected under the same name.
The basic unit of cancer life and the body begins in the cell. Normally, the growth and proliferation of the cells are controlled according to the needs of the body. This process ensures that our lives continue in a healthy way.
Sometimes, however, the cells start to grow and multiply out of control. In this case, an abnormal growth occurs in the regions where these cells are located, called “mass” or “tumor.”
Cancer that begins in the colon, colon cancer, cancer starting in the rectum is called rectum cancer. Cancer in any of these organs is also called colorectal cancer.
Risk in Colorectal Cancer
Although the true cause is not known, there are some risk factors that increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
- Age. Colorectal cancer is more common with age. Most of these cancer patients are over 50 years old. Although it is less frequent, it can also be seen in young ages.
- Nutrition. It is observed that colorectal cancer is related to fat rich, fiber-poor dietary habits.
Polyps. Polyps are non-malignant tissue growths in the thick wall. It is more than 50 years old. Some types of polyps are known to be at risk of cancer. Occasionally, familial polyposis causes hundreds of polyps in the colon and rectum. If not treated, familial polyposis causes cancer.
- Personal medical history. Research shows that the risk of colorectal cancer is increased in people with a history of ovarian, uterine or breast cancer in their medical history. It has been reported by researchers that there is a risk of developing a second colorectal cancer in patients with previous colorectal cancer.
- Medical history of the family. The risk is increased in individuals with first-degree relatives, such as parents, siblings, children, who have a history of colorectal cancer, especially if there is an early cancer. This risk is growing in people with colorectal cancer in more than one person in their families.
- Ulcerative colitis. The risk of colorectal cancer has been reported to increase in people with ulcerative colitis.
The presence of one or more of these risks does not necessarily mean that the person will develop colorectal cancer. It would be beneficial for those who feel any concern about this subject to consult their physician.
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