Colon cancer is a common type of malignancy (cancer) in which there is uncontrolled growth of the cells that line the inside of the colon or rectum. Colon cancer is also called colorectal cancer.
- The colon, also known as the large intestine, is the last part of the digestive tract.
- The rectum is the very end of the large intestine that opens at the anus.
The body is made up of different types of cells that normally divide and multiply in an orderly way. These new cells replace older cells. This process of cell birth and renewal occurs constantly in the body.
Cancer or malignant growths occur when:
- Some cells in the body begin to multiply in an uncontrolled manner.
- The body's natural defenses, such as certain parts of the immune system, cannot stop uncontrolled cell division.
- These abnormal cells become greater and greater in number.
- In some types of cancer, including colon cancer, the uncontrolled cell growth forms a mass, also called a
Some tumors are benign, which means that they are not cancerous. Cancerous or malignant tumors grow out of control and can invade, replace, and destroy normal cells near the tumor. In some cases, cancer cells spread to other areas of the body.
There are two kinds of growths that occur in the colon:
- noncancerous growths, such as
- Malignant or cancerous growths. Colon cancer usually begins with the growth of benign growths such as polyps.
Most types of colorectal cancer are
Nice To Know:
Other forms of colon cancer may occur, but are not nearly as common as adenocarcinomas.
If a polyp develops and is not removed, it may become cancerous. Once a cancer develops it begins to invade the intestinal wall and may spread to nearby lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system, which carries special filtered fluids throughout the body. Through the lymphatic system, cancer cells may also be carried to areas of the body far away the original tumor.
This process of cancer cells traveling to other parts of the body is known as
About The Digestive System
The digestive system receives food, breaks it down into smaller, useful nutrients, absorbs these nutrients into the bloodstream, and eliminates the remaining waste from the body.
The digestive system is made up of
- The esophagus
- The stomach
- The small intestine
- The large intestine, also known as the colon <
The colon has several parts:
- Ascending colon - Beginning in the lower right abdomen and continuing up the right side.
- Transverse colon - Beginning at the upper right side of the abdomen and continuing across to the left side of the abdomen.
- Descending colon - From the left upper abdomen straight down to the left lower side.
Sigmoidcolon - An S-shaped section that leads downward into the pelvic cavity.
- Rectum - The last six or so inches of the
colon, ending at the anus.
Facts About Colon Cancer