What is colorectal cancer

What is colorectal cancer: Colorectal cancer is a cancer that starts in the colon or the rectum. These cancers can also be named colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where they start. Most colorectal cancers begin as a growth called a polyp on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Some types of polyps can change into cancer over the course of several years, but not all polyps become cancer. The chance of changing into cancer depends on the kind of polyp. The 2 main types of polyps are:

  1. Adenomatous polyps (adenomas): These polyps sometimes change into cancer. Because of this, adenomas are called a precancerous condition.
  2. Hyperplastic polyps and inflammatory polyps: These polyps are more common, but in general they are not precancerous.

Can colorectal cancer be prevented?

Colorectal cancer screening saves lives!

We have many breast & cervical cancer detection programmes going on around the world and in India but screening for colorectal cancers is not being paid attention to. Colorectal cancer usually starts from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum.

  • Screening tests can find precancerous polyps, so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.
  • Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best

Your doctor can provide exact recommendations for rectal cancer screening based on your medical and family history.

Screening typically starts at age 50 in patients with average risk, or at younger ages in patients at higher risk for rectal cancer.

Though not definitely proven, there is some evidence that diet may play a significant role in preventing colorectal cancer. As far as is known till date, a diet high in fibre (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts) and low in fat is the only dietary measure that might help prevent colorectal cancer.

9 Out Of 10 Cases Of Colorectal Cancer Can Be Treated Successfully With Regular Screening, Timely Diagnosis And Prompt Treatment.

Normal cells divide in an orderly manner & die when they are worn out or damaged & new cells take their place. This occurs in a controlled manner. Cancers are a group of disease associated with abnormal growth of cells. They crowd out normal cells and cause problems in that part of the body. They can arise anywhere in the body & can affect people from all age groups, socioeconomic strata & race. If detected early cancers are completely curable in fact, more people than ever before lead full life after cancer treatment due to increasing screening programmes

Facts and Figures

  • Cancer is the leading cause of mortality in the world. In our country about 4.7 lakh new cases are detected annually
  • The number of colorectal cancer-related deaths is estimated to be approximately 608000 worldwide, accounting for 8% of all cancer deaths and making CRC the fourth most common cause of death due to cancer.
  • In India, most common cancers among men are oral, lung, stomach and colo-rectal cancers. In women, breast, cervix, colo-rectal, ovary and oral cancers
  • Colorectal Cancer most common GI malignancy to undergo surgical resection
  • There has been a steady increase in numbers with the increasing urbanization of India.
  • Highest rate of occurrence of colorectal cancer is Thiruvananthapuram Bangalore & Mumbai for men and Nagaland and Aizawlin women
  • 5-year survival for rectal cancer is actually decreasing in India as opposed to west due to late presentation detection, access to healthcare services, poor prognostic pathologies, as colorectal surgery in our country is not yet recognised as subspecialty and lack of awareness is there.

Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

Related Links

What is colorectal cancer
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What tests are performed to diagnose colorectal cancer
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