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Treatment Of Colon Cancer Essay

1482 words - 6 pages

It is widely known that cancer is lethal; but colon cancer ranks high among the types of cancers that take away the lives of a plethora of people every year. Colon cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the colon and at times, rectum, of the long intestine. In a report published by The American Cancer Society, colon cancer is said to be “the third leading cause of cancer death” and “the third most commonly diagnosed cancer” (Alteri et al. 1). Colon Cancer Alliance ranks it as “the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the US” (“Colon Cancer Statistics”). Since the symptoms of colon cancer resemble symptoms of “other health problems,” colon cancer is not easily diagnosed without any physical testing (“What You Need”). Nevertheless, since “90% of new cases occur on people 50 or older,” testings, such as colonoscopy, can significantly reduce the chances of an individual having colon cancer (“Colon Cancer Statistics”). Most causes of colon cancer are age or dietary related, but genetics play an important role in causing colon cancer. Although further research into preventive method is still needed, existing treatments and ongoing researches hold great promises for the future.

Colon is a part of the long intestine, which is in turn, part of the digestive system. On the other hand, cancer is the uncontrolled cell growth due to various reasons such as the malfunctioning of the tumor suppressor genes or mutation in the proto-oncogenes. When cells grow uncontrollably, they “can form a mass of tissue called a growth or tumor” (“What You Need”). When a tumor occurs in the colon, it might be colon cancer; however that is not always the case, as some tumors are benign and others are malignant, or cancerous. The malignant tumors are “life-threatening,” “can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs,” and the “cells can break away from a malignant tumor and spread to other parts of the body” (“What You Need”). The spreading of the cancer cells from one part of the body to another is called metastasis. Metastasis is what we are most afraid of, as it becomes hard to treat the cancer at that stage and prevent death of the individual.

One of the reasons this lethal disease eludes us is that its symptoms resemble the symptoms of the most common health problems. For example, Alteri et al. suggest to “ See [the] doctor if [we] have any of these warning signs” and then lists “change in the shape of the stool” as one of the signs (3). However, a brief moment of reflection will reveal that almost none of us are ever concerned with “the shape of [our] stool.” Similarly, one of the most resourceful database on the web about cancer, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), lists “[f]eeling very tired all the time,” as another symptom (“What You Need”). Common sense would dictate that one can feel “very tired” for various different reasons which might not be related to colon cancer. This goes on to show that one of the most deadly disease we...

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