Colon cancer, also known as large intestine cancer, is one of the most common cancers in the United States.
Rectal cancer is frequently classified as colorectal cancer by medical professionals.
After lung cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer, colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in both men and women in the United States (and exempting dermatologic cancers).
After lung cancer, it is the second most common cancer-related cause of death in the United States.
Both the rectum and the colon are components of the digestive system. The colon is around 5 feet long and encompasses the bulk of the large intestine. In the gut, the rectum is the final 6 inches. It’s thought to be the spot where the colon and the anus join.
Colorectal cancer develops when malignant cells in the rectum or colon grow large enough to push out healthy ones.
According to the American Cancer Society, adenocarcinomas account for more than 96 percent of rectal and colon malignancies (ACS). (1)
Adenocarcinomas are cancers that begin with glandular (secretory) cells present in tissues that border certain internal organs. Mucus is produced by glandular cells, which serves to lubricate the colon and rectum.
Colorectal polyps, which are abnormal growths in the intestines, are the most common precursors of rectal and colon malignancies. They may be detected within the rectum or colon lining.
Many individuals with polyps do not go on to get cancer. Patients with a giant polyp (one centimeter or more), many polyps, or a dysplasia-related polyp (abnormal but not malignant) are the most vulnerable.
Colon Cancer: How Common Is It?
According to the National Cancer Institute’s most current figures (2013-2015), one out of every 20 Americans will be diagnosed with rectal or colon cancer at some point in their lives (NCI). (2)
According to the statistics, about 1.3 million individuals have colorectal cancer.
I examine the forecasts for 2021. According to the American Cancer Society’s estimations for 2021, around 105,000 instances of colon cancer and more than 45,000 cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed yearly in the United States.
According to the National Cancer Institute, colorectal cancer accounts for around 8% of newly diagnosed cancer cases in the United States.
Colon cancer screenings are crucial.
To prevent colorectal cancer, it is important to have frequent screening examinations.
These tests allow clinicians to identify this kind of cancer in the general population as well as screen people who exhibit no indications of malignancy.
Colorectal polyps may be identified and removed before they become malignant with the help of screenings. According to the American Cancer Society, new polyps may take anywhere from 10 to 15 years to develop into cancer.
Screenings also aid in the early detection of rectal and colon cancers, when the illnesses are most treatable.
The 5-year survival rate for colorectal cancer is over 90% if it is identified at a local level before it spreads beyond the colon or rectum.
However, owing to a major fraction of poor screening, only little more than one-third of rectal and colon cancers are discovered at this time.
The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which sets Medicare and commercial insurance company policy under the Affordable Care Act, previously recommended that colorectal screening for people at intermediate risk begin around the age of 50.
The American Cancer Society altered its recommendations in May 2018 and adjusted its suggestion to 45, and the USPSTF followed suit. (3)
An investigation revealed a rise in colon and rectal cancer among younger Americans, which prompted the move.
According to new study, increased obesity rates are to responsible for at least a piece of the problem.
The journal JAMA Oncology published a research in October 2018 that followed the general health of 85,000 women for 22 years. It was discovered that the higher a woman’s BMI (body mass index), the greater her risk of developing colorectal cancer in the first 50 years of her life.