What is Colon Cancer?
WHAT IS COLON CANCER?
Colon cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the colon.
The colon is part of the body’s digestive system. The digestive system removes and processes nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) from foods and helps pass waste material out of the body. The digestive system is made up of the esophagus, stomach, and the small and large intestines. The colon (large bowel) is the main part of the large intestine and is about 5 feet long. Together, the rectum and anal canal make up the last part of the large intestine and are about 6-8 inches long. The anal canal ends at the anus (the opening of the large intestine to the outside of the body).
Cancer occurs in the colon because some cells start growing uncontrollably and for a lump of tissue that starts spreading to other parts of the body. This tissue takes over the metabolism of the body and uses up all the nutrients thereby staving the host ultimately resulting in death. That is why prevention is better than cure and we strongly emphasize you to get a colonoscopy at the age of 40 (earlier of there is family history).
Most colon cancers arise due to a genetic predisposition. Usually a family member also has cancer. Genes are transmitted vertically and initiate the production of some proteins called oncogenes that start the cells to grow out of control. This causes cancer. Some environmental factors such as diet also predispose you to cancer. That is why we recommend a healthy high fiber diet, exercise, elimination of smoking and alcohol for our patients. Maintaining a healthy active lifestyle and an appropriate weight is important too.
Khawaja Azimuddin M.D. & Tal Raphaeli M.D. & Jean Knapps M.D.
1125 Cypress Station Dr, Suite G, Houston TX 77090
Tel: 281-583 1300 Fax: 281-583 1303
Houston Colon & Rectal surgery PA
The Hemorrhoid Center