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MAIN Arrow to HealthHealth Arrow to DiseaseDiseases Arrow to CancerCancer Arrow to Colon CancerColon Cancer

The second most common cancer in the U.S. after lung cancer, colon or colorectal cancer refers to cancerous cells that develop in the colon or the rectum.

The colon, also known as the large intestine, and the rectum each are made up of several layers of tissue.

more in Health:
digestive system diagram
Human Digestive System

Most cases of colorectal cancer begin with the growth of benign, non-cancerous polyps on the lining of the colon or rectum.

If these polyps develop into cancer cells (usually, adenocarcinomas) they may spread to other layers of the colon or rectum, then to nearby blood or lymph vessels, and from there can mestastasize or travel to other parts of the body.

Screening for colorectal cancer includes colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy. These tests are are used to detect benign or pre-cancerous polyps which, once removed, lowers the risk of developing the disease.

More good news? Despite its prevelance in the over-50 population, colorectal cancer is highly preventable and easily treatable if discovered early.

Avoiding smoking, fatty foods and red meat, and increasing physical activity and adding more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet have been shown in studies to lower the risk of colon and other cancers. Foods and nutrients that have been found to help reduce risk include Omega-3 fatty acids, high fiber grains, calcium, and folic acid.

For more on rectal and colon cancer, check out at expert sites with facts on what to expect if you undergo testing, together with information on surgery, chemotherapy and related clinical trials, current research and advocacy news, plus more on diet and nutritional guidelines to help you lower your risk of colorectal cancer ....

More about colon cancer around the Web:

Overview - Colorectal Cancer
- American Cancer Society guide pointing to the most common risk factors including a high fat diet, smoking, obesity and related causes, information on diagnosis and treatment, typical surgeries, chemotherapy, side effects, after care and recurrence, and tips on questions to ask your doctor.

Colorectal (Colon) Cancer - Information from the Centers for Disease Control gathers facts on symptoms and risks, how to reduce risk, questions to ask your doctor, screening tests, related resources and statistics.

Colonoscopy - Check out a step-by-step patient guide with information on what to expect, how the test is performed, possible complications and side effects.

About Colorectal Cancer - This U.S. organization begun by a rectal cancer survivor features an extenstive patient guide to medical and advocacy news, where to find related clinical trials, information on risk factors, colonoscopy and other tests, related treatment, and more on coping with side effects.


This information is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.

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