As your body develops, cells of all types form and create the tissues and organs of the body. When development is complete, rapid cell multiplication stops. Then new cells are produced only as needed.
After this point, if a cell continues to grow without normal control and gains the ability to invade other tissues, a cancer develops. When this occurs in the lining of the large intestine, it is called colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancers most often begin as benign polyps which later develop into cancers.
Colorectal cancers are the second largest cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Early detection by appropriate screening tests can detect and even remove benign polyps and early cancers. The survival rate for people with colorectal cancers found early is more than 90 percent. It was estimated that in 1998, there would be about 135,000 cases of large intestinal cancer detected and that there would be about 57,000 deaths. This is far too many.
Lack of Awareness. Public awareness of the dangers, prevention and treatment of colon cancer is dismal. It isn't discussed because it affects parts of the body that people often find embarrassing or even forbidden to talk about.
Highly curable if found early. Colon cancer, when discovered early, is highly treatable. Even if it spreads into nearby lymph nodes, surgical treatment followed by chemotherapy is highly successful. In the most difficult cases -- when the cancer has metastasized to the liver, lungs or other sites -- treatment can prolong and add to the quality of life.
Research. Lack of general public awareness of the disease has limited funding for research, kept colon cancer patients unaware of their treatment options, and, tragically, prevented early detection and treatment in far too many cases.
Learn more about this killer disease. PPSI has developed information on this important subject for your education and safety. Please review all of it. It could save your life or the life of someone dear to you. Select from one of the options below to learn more.
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Date of Last Update: 07/27/12