What Causes Colon Cancer?


Quick Answer

Mayo Clinic explains that doctors are uncertain of the cause of colon cancer. Symptoms of colon cancer include blood in the stool, weight loss that cannot be explained, reoccurring cramps in the abdomen, variations in bowel movements and fatigue. If found early, colon cancer responds successfully to treatment. According to MedlinePlus, colon cancer begins in the large intestine or rectum and usually starts off as a benign polyp.

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What Causes Colon Cancer?
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Full Answer

The American Cancer Society notes that the risk factors for colon cancer include family history, being of African-American descent and suffering from Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. When diagnosing colon cancer, doctors start with a colonoscopy that views the inside of the colon and rectum. If any abnormal polyps are seen, the doctor usually performs a biopsy to determine if the polyps are cancerous. If the biopsy is found to be positive for cancer, an MRI or CT scan is done to determine if the cancer has spread. As of 2014, there is no known cure for colon cancer.

According to MedlinePlus, colon cancer treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. As of October 2014, the National Cancer Institute states there are 96,830 new cases of colon cancer reported for the year. The number of deaths from colon and rectal cancer were 50,310.

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