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Colon Cancer

Cancer and Neoplasms, Oral and Gastrointestinal

Colon cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the intestine grow too quickly and form polyps inside the colon of the large intestine, the final segment of the gastrointestinal system. A polyp is a noncancerous growth that begins in the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Sometimes a polyp can grow into a cancerous tumor that may spread into healthy tissues and invade the lymphatic system. If cancer goes untreated it can spread to other organs and the bones. Colon cancer can go unnoticed without any accompanying symptoms. However, a change in bowel habits and bleeding are two symptoms of the disease. Colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer, affecting both men and women in the United States. The risk for colon cancer is around 1 in 20, but the number of people dying from colon cancer has been dropping at a steady rate due to advanced screening. It is most common in people over 50 years of age but can happen anytime. The great news is there are over one million colon cancer survivors and this form of cancer is very treatable if caught early.

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