All adenomas turn into cancer

Colon cancer - how does it develop?

When a specialist speaks about colon cancer, he usually means cancer of the colon. Malignant tumors are most common in these regions of the intestine. The small intestine or the anus region are significantly less affected by cell degeneration. Colon cancer is the second most common form of cancer in Germany and mainly affects the elderly.

Creeping course of the disease

Colon cancer is particularly tricky because the tumor can grow for a long time without you noticing. The following symptoms can indicate an illness:

  • Blood in your stool or stool blackened by blood
  • Changed bowel habits, for example changing diarrhea, constipation or so-called pencil stools
  • Crampy abdominal pain
  • Excessive gas, causing blood, mucus, or uncontrolled stool
  • Fatigue and general weakness
  • Unreasonable weight loss
  • Induration in the abdomen
  • Enlarged lymph nodes

If you suffer from one or more of these symptoms, you should definitely have these symptoms clarified by your family doctor.

Security thanks to early detection

If the symptoms mentioned occur, the cancer may already be very advanced. As part of an early detection of colorectal cancer, people aged 50 and over can be examined for colorectal cancer. The health insurance companies bear the costs. If discovered early, the cancer can usually be treated well.

Polyps and adenomas: lumps in the lining of the intestine

In general, colorectal cancer can develop in any part of the colon, most commonly in the last part of the colon, the rectum. The intestinal mucosa is almost always the starting point for cell degeneration. This renews itself daily as millions of cells divide and pass on their genetic information to their doppelgangers. The mucous membrane then simply rejects old cells.

If the cells multiply faster in one part of the mucous membrane than old cells are rejected, an imbalance arises. The resulting cluster of cells is called a polyp. The doctor usually recognizes this change in the colonoscopy as a fungal lump or a flat elevation. In the best case scenario, he can remove an abnormality during the examination and thus prevent it from developing into cancer.

Because: About 90 percent of colon cancers arise when such a polyp degenerates. In the other ten percent, a genetic predisposition can play a role.

Cells out of control

In order to track sudden changes as quickly as possible, the body has a sophisticated control system. The body's own law enforcement officers usually quickly track down cells with altered genetic information. However, some genetically modified cells sometimes manage to evade controls. They then multiply very quickly and form a kind of tumor. This so-called tumor can be benign or malignant in nature:

  • The genetically modified cells of malignant tumors no longer perform their original task and multiply in an uncontrolled manner. In doing so, they also destroy healthy tissue. If these cells reach other organs via the blood and lymph vessels, they can form daughter tumors, so-called metastases.
  • Benign tumors also consist of altered cells. However, they do not scatter or destroy healthy tissue.

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