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Colon Cancer: An Introduction

Cancer is any malignant tumor including carcinoma and sarcoma. It starts with the abnormal and uncontrolled division of the cells and then invades and destroys the surrounding tissues. The spread of cancer cells (metastasis) may occur via the bloodstream or the lymphatic channels or across body cavities such as the pleural and peritoneal spaces, thus setting up secondary tumors (metastases) at sites distant from the original tumor. Each individual primary tumor has its own pattern of local behavior and speed of growth. For example, bone metastasis is very common in breast and prostate cancer but less common in other tumors.

What the exact causes of cancer are remain unknown, but some are linked to certain things, such as cigarette smoking which is associated with lung cancer. Exposure to radiation is linked with some sarcomas and leukemia, and several viruses are implicated in the onset of certain forms of cancer.

There is a genetic connection which is implicated in the development of many types of cancers. In more than half of all cancers a gene called p53 is deleted or impaired. P53 is the gene whose normal function is to prevent the uncontrolled division of cells. Treatment of cancer depends on the type of tumor, the site of the primary tumor, and the speed at which it is spreading.

Colon cancer is an illness that affects the large intestine. It is also known as colorectal cancer. 1

Cancer of the colon occurs when cells of the large intestine convert into cells that do not function normally. More often than not a cancer will start an alteration in genes of the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of the cell. This same reaction can be a result of chemicals or toxins that pass through the colon.

Considering that cancer can start when genes mutate, it is logical to assume that defects in the genes can be transmitted to children from their parents. That is why when it comes to colon cancer, doctors of often say it is heredity, heredity, heredity. If you have a history of colon cancer in your family, your doctor should be made aware of it and you should be tested more often than a person who has no family history of colon cancer.

Once the cancer cell mutates, it will no longer perform it normal function. That in itself would affect the bodies performance, but it does not stop there. Cancer cells migrate and create new cancer cells in other organs of the body. This is what is meant by the term metastasize. The cells move out and spread cancer throughout the body.

Colon cancer cells will often spread and effect the kidneys, liver, reproductive organs, and even the lungs. These organs are obviously vital to the body and that is why colon cancer has turned out to be one of the deadliest forms of cancer.

Colon cancer is being diagnosed more and more frequently these days. This is in part because preventive medicine is constantly improving and because more 2

and more people are getting checked as they learn more about their colons. Colon cancer is the 2nd most common cancer in women and the 3rd most common in men. Since records have been kept, over 50 thousand casualties have been reported in the United States as a result of colon cancer.

Colon cancer is categorized as an adenocarcinoma. Basically this means that the cancer starts in the colon and will spread to other organs when there are glands that will facilitate the move. In its normal operation, the glands of the colon produce mucus to reduce friction and soften the waste as it moves through the colon. These glands are extremely susceptible to the spreading of colon cancer. The fact that the large intestine absorbs fluids that go into the blood stream provides another opening that colon cancer uses to spread to all parts of the body.

Fortunately cancer can be prevented in most people by following a few simple steps. Eat a healthy diet that avoids toxic preservatives, get plenty of physical exercise, and make colon cleansing a regular occurrence in your life.

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