The colon and the rectum are parts of the large intestine, which is the lower part of the body’s digestive system. During digestion, food moves through the stomach and small intestine into the colon. The colon absorbs water and nutrients from food and stores waste matter (stool). Stool moves from the colon into the rectum before it leaves the body.
Most colorectal cancers are adenocarcinomas, cancers that begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids. Colorectal cancer often begins as a growth called a polyp, which may form on the inner wall of the colon or rectum.
Some polyps become cancer over time. Finding and removing polyps can prevent colorectal cancer.
Researchers predict 16,940 people will be diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2017.
- An estimated 15,690 people will die from this disease
- Esophageal cancer is more common in men than women and is often associated with an older age
- Smoking and alcohol use increase the risk of esophageal cancer
Researchers predict 28,000 people will be diagnosed with stomach cancer and in 2017. An estimated 10,960 people will die from this disease.
Common Causes of Stomach Cancer:
- Infection from H. pylori bacteria
The small intestines are often referred to as the “small bowel.” Small intestine cancer is slightly more common in men than women. Diet and health history are risk factors.
Common Signs and Symptoms:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Weight loss
Large Intestines, Colon and Rectal
A cancer of the colon or rectum is located at the digestive tract’s lower end. The colon and rectum form the large intestines. Therefore, large intestine cancer is often referred to as “colorectal cancer.”
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States.
- Researchers predict 95,520 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer and 39,910 people will be diagnosed with rectal cancer in 2017
- An estimated 50,260 people will die as a result
Symptoms depend on the size and location of the cancer, but include changes in
- Bowel habits
- Stool consistency
- Blood in the stool
- Abdominal discomfort.
Common treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, but also depend on size, location, and how far the cancer has spread.
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Digestive & Bowel Cancer Facts
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Early detection is key.