Medical research

Suspect cells' 'neighbor' implicated in colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer kills more than 50,000 people a year in the United States alone, but scientists have struggled to find the exact mechanisms that trigger the growth of tumors in the intestine.

Oncology & Cancer

New sensors could offer early detection of lung tumors

People who are at high risk of developing lung cancer, such as heavy smokers, are routinely screened with computed tomography (CT), which can detect tumors in the lungs. However, this test has an extremely high rate of false ...

Oncology & Cancer

When to get your next colonoscopy

The colorectal cancer mortality rate in the United States is down more than 50% from what it was two decades ago, when doctors started using the colonoscopy more as a screening tool than a diagnostic tool.

Oncology & Cancer

Deadlier colon cancer develops differently in women and men

Researchers have found that colon cancer tumor cells produce energy for growth differently in women and men, and that this difference is associated with a more aggressive form of tumor growth with a higher incidence in women.

Oncology & Cancer

5 ways to fight colon cancers

With screening, colon cancers can effectively be detected and prevented. Though colon cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer death in the United States, one-third of Americans over age 50 are not getting screened.

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Colorectal cancer, commonly known as bowel cancer, is a cancer from uncontrolled cell growth in the colon, rectum, or appendix. Symptoms typically include rectal bleeding and anemia which are sometimes associated with weight loss and changes in bowel habits.

Most colorectal cancer occurs due to lifestyle and increasing age with only a minority of cases associated with underlying genetic disorders. It typically starts in the lining of the bowel and if left untreated, can grow into the muscle layers underneath, and then through the bowel wall. Screening is effective at decreasing the chance of dying from colorectal cancer and is recommended starting at the age of 50 and continuing until a person is 75 years old. Localized bowel cancer is usually diagnosed through sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy.

Cancers that are confined within the wall of the colon are often curable with surgery while cancer that has spread widely around the body is usually not curable and management then focuses on extending the person's life via chemotherapy and improving quality of life. Colorectal cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world, but it is more common in developed countries. Around 60% of cases were diagnosed in the developed world. It is estimated that worldwide, in 2008, 1.23 million new cases of colorectal cancer were clinically diagnosed, and that it killed 608,000 people.

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