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Signs and Treatment of Colorectal Cancer


The colon and rectum together make up the large intestine and serve as the final passage of food through the body. An optimally functioning large intestine performs several tasks, like removing water and nutrients, processing fibrous content of food for additional nutrients, recycling digestive vitamins like B12, and undergoing muscular contractions to move the feces along at a steady pace.

Since the large intestine is the last stop for many of the toxins eliminated by the lymph and other cleansing organs, a mucous covers the lining of the colon to protect the cells from reabsorbing toxins. The mucous is made by the cells, as well as bacterial populations living primarily on what nutrition can be released from fiber. It is believed that disruptions of the essential tasks of the colon are the cause of polyp growth and over 95% of colorectal cancers.

What are the Signs of Colorectal Cancer?

Cancers of the colon and rectum will take years to develop, and early stages usually show no symptoms. This is unfortunate, because early treatments are the most successful. It points to the need for annual screening in the risk groups below. When symptoms do appear, the may include:

-persisting abdominal pain or discomfort -chronic fatigue -weight loss -bleeding during defecation, with or without pain -diarrhea, constipation, or the feeling of fullness even after elimination

Signs of colorectal cancer can mimic other health disorders, so it is important to check with a doctor when any are noticed. High risk groups are encouraged to have regular check-ups to screen for colorectal cancer. Over 90% of cases occur in men and women over the age of 50. The risk is increased with chronic disruption of the digestive system, such as seen in alcoholics, smokers, those with low-fiber diets, and people experiencing ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. Obesity, personal history of polyps, family history of polyps or colorectal cancer, diabetes, and obesity are also considered high risk groups.

How can Colorectal Cancer be Treated?

The most common treatment, especially in the early stages is surgical removal of the cancer. A colorectal surgeon in Cincinnati will make small incisions in the colon and attempt to determine if the cancer has moved into the base of the polyp. If it has not, then removal is almost always successful. If it has infected the base, the surgeon will take samples of nearby lymph do determine whether it has spread. Chemotherapy, radiation, and targeted drugs are often used in advanced cases. It is important to get annual screening to avoid these more dangerous treatments.



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Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information about colorectal surgeon in Cincinnati, please visit http://www.lifescript.com/doctor-directory/index.aspx.




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