Essay about Colon and Rectum Cancer

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The American Cancer Society estimates that over 100,000 men and women living in the United States will be diagnosed with colon cancer in 2013. Statistically, cancers of the colon and rectum are often combined and referred to as colorectal cancer. This addition brings the total to over 140,000 affected individuals with over 50,000 of these diagnoses resulting in death (American cancer society, 2013). Globally, the impact of this disease reached over one million people in 2008 with over 600,000 deaths attributed to colorectal cancer (Dusek, Maluskova, & Musik, 2013). Colon cancer is preventable with a healthy diet, exercise, and curable with regular bowel exams. However, signs and symptoms of colon cancer usually do not present until the…show more content…
When these cells become neoplastic they begin to grow into the layers of the colon and beyond as well. This event facilitates contact with capillaries and lymph vessels and cancer cells can then break off and migrate through the entire body (McCartney & Oberleitner, 2011). The risk of cancer increases with age, and colon cancer is included in this factor with 62 being the most common age at diagnosis (McCartney & Oberleitner, 2011). Repeated exposure to carcinogens over time can cause mutations in DNA, especially in highly mitotic epithelial cells, resulting in cancerous growths. An immune response in a young and healthy body would destroy the early formation of cancer cells. Unfortunately, individuals of advanced age suffer a decrease in the capabilities of the immune system. This puts them at a higher risk of dysplastic cells multiplying in the colon. Genetics may induce the coding of certain genes within cells to undergo spontaneous mutations. (Labianca, Nordlinger, Beretta, Brouquet, Cervantes, 2010). This factor produces the cluster of colon cancers seen in families. The risk of an individual getting cancer of the colon increases when immediate family members have received a diagnosis in the past. The rate of occurrence decreases when isolated extended family members develop the disease. However, if several people in one family group such as cousins, aunts and grandparents are diagnosed, the risk for the rest of the members of that
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