My grandmother was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2001 and again in 2011. She died shortly after her second surgery. I never really thought about what cancer was before this and what it does to someone’s body. I am sure there are others that never really look at specific diseases or illnesses until it affects them directly. Cancer is a horrible killer where abnormal cells multiply within a person’s body and reproduce to form a tumor.
What exactly is cancer? Our bodies reproduce and destroy billions of cells per day. It can go from one mismade cell to cells multiplying and forming a tumor. There are many abnormal cells made daily, but most of them are rejected by our body and destroyed. Our body is constantly going through a process, but it is not perfect. A cancer develops when a mistake is not corrected and it continues to produce and form a mass of abnormal cells. A lot of these mistakes go without repair and do not really affect our health, but if a new cell is able to divide and reproduce without the same procedure of a normal cell it becomes uncontrollable.
There are both benign and malignant tumors. Benign tumors do not spread beyond the tissue it is formed in, but it can still cause severe symptoms. A malignant tumor can spread through the blood or lymphatic system, which is called metastasis. This ability causes the cancer to grow in other places throughout the body and starts to multiply and form other cancerous tumors. Cancer is actually over 100 diseases that have been bundled as one under the category of cancer. These different cancers are named by tissue where it develops and if it spreads to another region of the body, it is still known as the cancer where it originated. No one cancer is the same and each person has a different disease, so you have to treat every patient’s diagnosis individually.
Colon cancer or colorectal cancer originates in the inner wall of the large intestine and is a malignant tumor. The food not digested or absorbed by the small intestine enters the large intestine where it stores waste and the body further absorbs water, salts, and some nutrients. The large intestine is a tube about 6 feet long, also known as the colon, that eventually pushes the waste out the rectum. Colon cancer starts when the replacement process of the lining cells becomes erratic and starts to grow cell masses. Polyps, a precancerous tumor, can also form slowly over time. Once the polyps change their growth direction from growing in the middle of the tube to growing through the tube it has become cancerous.
According to the American Cancer society, “It’s one of the 5 most common cancers in men and women in the United States. Colorectal cancer is also one of the leading causes of cancer death in the United States.” There are about 150,000 people diagnosed with colon cancer each year and about 1/3 or about 50,000 die from the disease. Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer in males and forth in females. If...