About Colo-Rectal Cancer
Colo-rectal cancer is diagnosed when abnormal cells divide uncontrollably
and form a malignant mass (tumor) in either the colon or the rectum. Most
colo-rectal cancers form from the glandular cells that line both the colon
and the rectum. This type of cancer is known as adenocarcinoma, and can
spread to other parts of the body.
Part of the large intestine, the colon and the rectum are an integral
part of the body's digestive system. As the human body digests nutrients
from food, it stores waste in the colon until it is removed through the
rectum. Here is where tumors, either malignant or benign, usually develop.
Benign colo-rectal tumors are known as polyps and can increase a person's
chances of developing colo-rectal cancer.
Other factors that may increase the risk in both men and women:
- Over the age of 50
- Family history of the disease
- High-fat/low-fiber diet
- Physical inactivity and obesity
If you fall into any of the above categories, see your doctor for information
on ways to prevent colo-rectal cancer, such as proper diet and exercise,
drug therapy and a variety of screening tests depending upon your age.