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Your Digestive Health and Colon Cancer

Digestive Health > > Your Digestive Health and Colon Cancer

The colon is an important part of the digestive system where the body stores waste. The rectum is at the end of the colon adjacent to the anus. They are both parts of the muscular tube called the large intestine or large bowel.

Tumors sometimes grow in the inner wall of the large intestine. When tumors are benign they are called polyps. Malignant tumors are called cancers.

Cancer occurs when cells become abnormal and divide uncontrollably. Every organ in the body is made up of many types of cells including the colon and rectum. The body is made to regenerate cells when the body needs them, the orderly process helps keep us healthy by helping us to heal. Cancerous growth is not orderly. Sometimes extra masses of tissue grow, but are not cancerous. Doctors can remove benign tumors and they usually do not come back.

Cells from benign tumors don’t spread to other parts of the body and those non-cancerous tumors are rarely life-threatening.

Malignant tumors are cancerous. Because of the uncontrolled growth, cancer cells invade other parts of the body, especially in organs around the tumor. The uncontrolled cells cause a path of destruction where they grow. Cancer cells can break away from a malignant tumor. Those cells get in the bloodstream or lymphatic system and the cancer spreads. Metastasis is the term used for the spread of cancer.

If benign polyps remain in the large intestine, they can become malignant. Most of the cancers of the large intestine are developed from polyps. Cancer of the colon and rectum is called colorectal cancer. Cancer of the colon and rectum is the third leading cause of cancer in men and the fourth leading cause of cancer in women. Colorectal cancer is more common in the Western world than it is in Asia and Africa. A move toward a Western diet in those areas seems coincide with an increased incidence of colon cancer in those areas.

How do People Get Colon Cancer?

Colorectal cancer isn’t something you can catch or give to another person. Some people seem to be predisposed to developing certain types of cancer. Research shows people are more likely to develop colorectal cancer and

When a person eats large amounts of fat, the body produces products to help metabolize the fat. Scientists believe the products used in the breakdown process might create cancer-causing chemicals.

That’s why scientists encourage people to eat plenty of vegetables and high-fiber foods. It is believed those types of foods help rid the body of those chemicals.

A person with a family history of colon cancer is at a much higher risk than others. Some people are affected by an inherited disease called familial colon cancer. People in these families can develop colon cancer very early in life. Familial polyposis syndrome is another condition people inherit and when left untreated, it can and often does develop into colon cancer.

Digestive Health > > Your Digestive Health and Colon Cancer