Cancer of the Colon and
The lower portion of the digestive system is the colon. It is also called the large
bowel or large intestine. The colon is the last 5 to 6 feet of the intestine. The last
8 to 10 inches of the colon is the rectum. After food is digested, solid wastes
move through the colon and rectum to the anus, where they are passed out of the
body. colorectal, detection, rectal
Early colorectal cancer often has no symptoms. See your doctor if you have any
of these symptoms:
C Diarrhea or constipation
C Stools that are narrower than usual
C Bloating, fullness or cramps
C Frequent gas pains
C Loss of weight for no reason
C Constant tiredness
C Blood in or on the stool (bright red or very dark red)
C Change in bowel habits
Types of tumors:
Tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancer.)
C Benign tumors do not spread to other parts of the body. They can be removed
by surgery, if necessary.
C Cysts are benign tumors that contains fluid.
C Malignant tumors can grow into nearby tissues and organs, including blood.
If your doctor thinks there may be cancer, a complete exam will be done. This
may include one or more of these tests:
C A medical history: The doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms
and risk factors.
C A physical exam: This will include a rectal exam and an exam of the rest of
your body. With a rectal exam, the doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger
into the rectum and gently feels for any lumps.
C Sigmoidoscopy: A thin tube with a light at the end is inserted into the
rectum. This allows the doctor to see high up in the colon.
C Colonoscopy: A thin, flexible tube with a light at the end is used if the doctor
wants to see the entire length of your colon.
C Biopsy: If an abnormal growth is found, your doctor will remove a small
sample for examination.
C Blood tests: Your doctor will order a blood test to check to see if you have
lost any blood. The blood test will also look to see how well your liver is
If you have ca