Symptom: Colon Cancer

    The human colon, or large intestine, is a muscular, tube-shaped organ measuring about 4 feet long. It extends from the end of your small bowel to your anus. Typically the first or right portion of the colon which is called the ascending colon moves up from the lower right portion of the abdomen. The next portion, or transverse colon, moves across from the right to the left side of the upper abdomen. Next, the 3rd region or descending colon moves down the left side of your abdomen. Then an S shaped or sigmoid colon portion connects the rest of the colon to the rectum which ends at the anus. The colon has 3 main functions: 
  • To digest and absorb nutrients from food
  • To concentrate fecal material by absorbing fluid (and electrolytes) from it
  • To store and control evacuation of fecal material
  • The right side of your colon plays a major role in absorbing water and electrolytes, while the left side is responsible for storage and evacuation of stool. Cancer is the transformation of normal cells. The transformed cells grow and multiply abnormally.
  • Left untreated, these cancers grow and eventually spread through the colon wall to involve the adjacent lymph nodes and organs. Ultimately, they spread to distant organs such as the liver, lungs, brain, and bones.
  • Cancers are dangerous because of their unbridled growth and potential for spread. They overwhelm healthy cells, tissues, and organs by taking their oxygen, nutrients, and space.
  • Most colon cancers are adenocarcinomas-tumors that develop from the glands lining the colon's inner wall.
  • These tumors are sometimes referred to as colorectal cancer, reflecting the fact that the rectum, the end portion of the colon, can also be affected.
  • In the United States, 1 in 17 people will develop colorectal cancer.
  • According to reports from the National Cancer Institute, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in US men.
  • Colorectal canceris the second most common cancer in US women of Hispanic, American Indian/Alaska Native, or Asian/Pacific Islander ancestry, and the third most common cancer in white and African American women.
  • The overall incidence of colorectal cancer increased until 1985 and then began decreasing at an average rate of 1.6% per year.
  • Deaths from colorectal cancer rank third after lung and prostate cancer for men and third after lung and breast cancer for women.

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    1 23...Next»(Page 1 of 15)GlossaryColon Cancer Topic Guide YOU MAY ALSO LIKE VIEW Understanding Cancer of the Colon Must Read Articles Related to Colon Cancer Barium Enema A barium enema is a diagnostic test that us performed to examine the colon and rectum for abnormalities. Barium enema may be ordered for a patient to identify i...learn more >> Cancer Symptoms Most symptoms and signs of cancer may also be explained by harmless conditions, so it's important to limit one's risk factors and undergo appropriate cancer scr...learn more >> Cancer: What You Need to Know The news comes like a sledgehammer into the stomach: "I'm sorry to tell you, but you have cancer." Every year, a million Americans are devastated by news of can...learn more >> See the Entire Colon Cancer Topic Guide » Patient Comments & Reviews The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Colon Cancer: Colon Cancer - Signs and Symptoms What signs and symptoms did you experience with your colon cancer? 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    Pain Health Center an online symptom search and symptom directory. Here you can find what is the symptom Colon Cancer and what does it mean, you can also check what illnesses and diseases this symptom relates to.