The colon is part of our digestive system, and one of the last stops for food before it enters the rectum and leaves the body. Colon cancer occurs when cells, for reasons not entirely understood, grow abnormally in the colon to form masses and tumors that affect the body.
Colon and rectal cancers don’t show many signs in their early stages, which is why public health officials encourage people to get regular screenings. A person’s risk factors can also contribute to getting it or avoiding it. Learn about colorectal cancer symptoms and diagnosis in this section.
People with colorectal cancer have a number of treatment options, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgical procedures. Today, there are specific colon cancer treatment paths based on how far the cancer has progressed.
- Depending on how far they have progressed, colorectal cancers are described using stages zero through four, according to the National Library of Medicine.
Colon cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed diseases in the United States, and there are many places to find others online who are sharing your experience. Use the sites below to find support for colon cancer patients and survivors.
- Some support groups and boards are moderated; others are not. Moderated Web sites are usually run by volunteers who are familiar with the particular issue and can ensure that the board conversations don't go off track. Boards that aren’t moderated can be very useful, but beware that there may be people with an agenda different from yours. Always use caution when chatting on the Web.
Scientists are studying all aspects of colorectal cancer, and are developing ways to detect it sooner, trying to find less invasive tests, and finding new medications and treatments. This section can help you keep up to date on the latest colon cancer news and research.
- When reading your favorite news sites, keep an eye out for any links that allow you to create news alerts. These services are usually free, and send you e-mails based on certain keywords you select. They can be a good way to keep up to date on colorectal cancer or other subjects of interest.