Cancer of the colon and rectum is the third leading cause of cancer worldwide, with an estimated 150,000 new cases every year. When detected early, colorectal cancer is highly treatable and curable. Most colon cancers arise from adenomatous polyps. About 5% of adenomatous polyps are estimated to become malignant and this process takes approximately 10 years.
Cancer can grow inward toward the hollow part of the colon or rectum, and/or outward through the walls of these organs. Advanced disease can cause perforation of the bowel, leading to infection. Metastasis (spread) of the disease may occur to the lymph nodes, liver, lung, peritoneum, ovaries, and brain.
There are several types of colorectal cancer:
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors
The choice of treatment may depend on the individual's situation and current overall health status. However, for the majority of reasonably healthy persons with mild to moderate disease, aggressive treatment with a goal of cure is the plan. Treatment usually consists if a combination of surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy.
The Medifocus Guide on Colorectal Cancer provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of colorectal cancer?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing colorectal cancer?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of colorectal cancer?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of colorectal cancer?
What treatment options are available for the management of colorectal cancer?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in colorectal cancer?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for colorectal cancer?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about colorectal cancer?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Radioimmunotherapy of colorectal cancer liver metastases: combination with radiotherapy. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2000
Different pathways of colorectal carcinogenesis and their clinical pictures. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2000
Recent advances of molecular biology in colorectal cancer. Gan to Kagaku Ryoho [Japanese Journal of Cancer & Chemotherapy]. 2000
Diagnosis of colorectal neoplasms at double-contrast barium enema examination. Radiology. 2000
Prognostic factors in colorectal cancer. College of American Pathologists Consensus Statement 1999. Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. 2000
Molecular and clinical risk markers in colon cancer trials. European Journal of Cancer. 2000
Colorectal cancer: update on recent advances and their impact on screening protocols. Journal of the National Medical Association. 2000
Colorectal cancer follow-up: perspectives for future studies. European Journal of Surgical Oncology. 2000
Postoperative colorectal cancer surveillance. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2000
What's new with tumor markers for colorectal cancer?. Digestive Surgery. 2000
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