Colorectal Cancer News:
Location in Colon Not a Factor in Recurrence:
Researchers say the location of cancer
does not appear to be a factor in whether the cancer subsequently
recurs after it has been surgically removed.
Colorectal Cancer News:
Colorectal Cancer Survival Rate Same as for Whites:
Researchers say African Americans have
almost an identical colorectal cancer survival rate to whites when
they get equivalent treatment.
Rich in Sucrose May Be Linked to Colon Cancer:
Researchers report a study of the effect
of diets rich in sucrose in rats suggests a possible direct link
between level of sucrose intake and colon cancer in humans.
Growth Hormone Linked to Colorectal Cancer: British
researchers report finding a higher incidence of colorectal cancer
in patients treated with human pituitary growth hormone between
1959 and 1985.
Strongly Recommended for Everyone Over Age 50: Updated
federal health guidelines say new evidence proves testing can prevent
deaths from colorectal cancer.
Fatty Acids Protect Against Colon Cancer: Researchers
report they have demonstrated how omega-3 fatty acids found in fish
oil offer protection against colon cancer.
Income, Insurance All Factors in Determining Treatment:
Researchers report that patients over
the age of 75 were at higher risk of having a treatment plan that
did not include radiation or chemotherapy after surgery than patients
under age 65.
Dairy Foods May Help Cut Risk of Colon Cancer: Researchers
say increasing calcium consumption from sources including milk,
cheese and yogurt slows the abnormal growth of cells that eventually
may lead to colon cancer.
Who Drink a Lot of Juice May Cut Risk of Colon Polyps:
But researchers say while juice may lower
the risk of polyps that can eventually develop into colon cancer
for women, it
does not appear to lower risk for men.
E Seen Helping Advanced Colorectal Cancer Patients:
Researchers say the antioxidant vitamin E may be used to improve
the immune functions in patients with advanced colorectal cancer.
Combo Best for Seniors With Stage III Cancer:
Researchers said the standard of care for locally advanced rectal
cancer in the United States also would improve survival for seniors
with stage III rectal cancer.
for Protein in Stool Samples Detects Colon Cancer:
A new test based on detection of a protein in stool samples appears
to be a noninvasive and accurate method of detecting colon cancer,
according to British researchers.
Screenings Recommended for Some With Colon Cancer Family History:
say those with polyps should be screened every three years instead
of the once every ten years recommended for persons at average risk.
D May Provide Some Protection Against Colon Cancer:
Researchers report they have found that vitamin D may provide some
protection against the increased risk of colon cancer associated
with a high fat diet.
Far More Toxic Than Chemotherapy:
Researchers report the antimetabolite drug raltitrexed appears to
be less desirable than two fluorouracil-based chemotherapy regimens
for treating patients with advanced colorectal cancer.
Predicts Whether Patients Will Benefit From Chemotherapy:
Researchers report that following colorectal cancer surgery, measurement
of the tumor's thymidylate synthase (TS) level may help predict
which patients will benefit -- and which may do worse -- if they
have follow-up chemotherapy.
Food Portions May Be Key to Reducing Risk of Colon Cancer:
Researchers report mice fed a restricted-calorie diet were 60 perecent
less likely to develop pre-cancerous colon polyps than mice fed
Colonoscopy May Be Better After Surgery or Radiation:
Researchers report that a virtual colonoscopy may be a better option
than a conventional colonoscopy for colorectal cancer patients who
have had surgery, radiation or both.
Cancer Patients at Increased Risk of Other Cancers:
Researchers say that for patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer,
the number of subsequent cancers of the small intestine, uterus,
ovaries and eyes was higher than expected..
May Miss Half of Colon Cancers in Elderly:
Researchers say that the frequency of right-sided colon cancer increases
with patient age, and the sigmoidoscope does not reach the right
side of the colon.
Scan May Help Prevent Futile Surgery in Colon Cancer Return:
Dutch researchers report that Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
scans may be helpful in preventing futile surgery in some cases
where colon cancer has returned and spread outside the liver.
Calcium Significantly Cuts Risk of Colon Cancer:
Harvard researchers report that for people whose diets are low in
calcium, a modest increase appears to substantially reduce the risk
of some types of colon cancer.
Folate, Less Alcohol, May Cut Colon Cancer Risk:
Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute report that women who
have a parent or sibling with colon cancer can markedly lower their
own risk by taking a daily multivitamin that includes folic acid
and limiting their intake of alcohol.
is cancer that arises in the colon or rectumthe part of the body's
digestive system which moves nutrients from food and stores waste
until it passes out of the body. Colorectal cancer occurs when cells
in the colon or rectum become abnormal and divide without control
or order. Cancer cells can invade and destroy the tissue around
them. They can also break away from the tumor and spread to form
new tumors in other parts of the body.
- The exact
causes of colorectal cancer are not known. However, studies show
that certain factors increase a person's chance of developing
- Age. Colorectal
cancer is more likely to occur as people get older. Most people
who develop colorectal cancer are over the age of 50. However,
the disease can occur at any age.
- Diet. The
development of colorectal cancer seems to be associated with a
diet that is high in fat and calories and low in foods with fiber,
such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Researchers are
exploring how these and other dietary components play a role in
the development of colorectal cancer.
- Polyps. Polyps
are benign growths (not cancer) on the inner wall of the colon
or rectum. They are relatively common in people over age 50. Because
most colorectal cancers develop in polyps, detecting and removing
these growths may be a way to prevent colorectal cancer. Familial
polyposis is a rare, inherited condition in which hundreds of
polyps develop in the colon and rectum. Unless this condition
is treated, a person who has it is extremely likely to develop
history. A person who has already had colorectal cancer may develop
colorectal cancer a second time. Also, research studies show that
women with a history of ovarian, uterine, or breast cancer have
a somewhat increased chance of developing colorectal cancer.
- Family history.
Close relatives (parents, siblings, or children) of a person who
has had colorectal cancer are somewhat more likely to develop
this type of cancer themselves, especially if the relative developed
the cancer at a young age. If many family members have had colorectal
cancer, the chances increase even more.
colitis. Ulcerative colitis is a condition in which the lining
of the colon becomes inflamed. People who have ulcerative colitis
are more likely to develop colorectal cancer.
screening tests are used to detect cancer, polyps that may eventually
become cancerous, or other abnormal conditions. Most people who
undergo colorectal screening do not have any colorectal abnormality.
For those who do, diagnosis and treatment can occur promptly.
People who have
any risk factors for colorectal cancer should ask their doctor when
to begin screening for colorectal cancer, what tests to have, and
how often to schedule appointments. Doctors may suggest one or more
of the tests listed below as a part of regular checkups.
- A fecal occult
blood test (FOBT) is a test for hidden blood in the stool. This
test has been proven to reduce the death rate of colorectal cancer.
- A sigmoidoscopy
is an examination of the rectum and lower colon with a lighted
- A colonoscopy
is an examination of the rectum and entire colon with a lighted
- A double
contrast barium enema is a series of x-rays of the colon and rectum.
The x-rays are taken after the patient is given an enema with
a white, chalky solution that contains barium to outline the colon
and rectum on the x-rays.
- A digital
rectal exam (DRE) is a test in which the doctor inserts a lubricated,
gloved finger into the rectum to feel for abnormal areas.
of colorectal cancer include the following:
- A change
in bowel habits.
constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely.
- Blood in
the stool (either bright red or very dark in color).
- Stools that
are narrower than usual.
abdominal discomfort (frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness,
- Weight loss
with no known reason.
To find the
cause of symptoms, the doctor evaluates one's personal and family
medical history. The doctor also performs a physical exam and may
order one or more diagnostic tests. These may include:
- A blood test
called a CEA assay to measure a protein called carcinoembryonic
antigen that is sometimes higher in patients with colorectal cancer.]
- A biopsy,
the removal of tissue for examination under a microscope by a
pathologist, may be done to determine if a person has cancer.
- X-rays of
the gastrointestinal tract, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy.
colorectal cancer depends on a number of factors, including the
general health of the patient and the size, location, and extent
of the tumor.
to remove the cancer is the most common treatment for colorectal
cancer. The type of surgery that a doctor performs depends mainly
on where the cancer is found.
is the use of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells. The anticancer
drugs circulate in the bloodstream and affect cancer cells throughout
therapy, also called radiotherapy, involves the use of high-energy
xrays to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy affects the cancer
cells only in the treated area.
therapy, also called immunotherapy, uses the body's immune system,
either directly or indirectly, to fight cancer. The immune system
recognizes cancer cells in the body and works to eliminate them.
Biological therapies are designed to repair, stimulate, or enhance
the immune system's natural anticancer function.
information provided by: National Cancer Institute, National Institutes
of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892