Colorectal Cancer

What is Colorectal cancer?


  • Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that originates in the colon or rectum. They can be called colon or rectal cancer, depending on where it originated from. Colon cancer and rectal cancer are often grouped together because they have many common features. Cancer typically starts when cells in the body grow at an uncontrollable rate.



Who is impacted?


  • There are certain factors that can increase risk of developing colorectal cancer such as:
    • Overweight or obese
    • Physical inactivity
    • Diet (If your diet is high in red meats and processed meats)
    • Smoking
    • Heavy alcohol use
    • Elderly, age over 50
    • History of colorectal polyps
    • History of inflammatory bowel disease
    • Family history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps
    • Having an inherited syndrome such as Lynch syndrome, familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), Peutz-Jeghers syndrome (PJS), and MYH-associated polyposis (MAP).
    • Race/ethnicity → Jews of Eastern Europe descent (Ashkenazi Jews) have one of the highest colorectal cancer risks of any ethnic group in the world.
    • Type II Diabetes
    • Night shift work → This is unclear but its thought to be related to the changes in melatonin release.



How is colorectal cancer diagnosed?


  • Colorectal cancer is diagnosed by one or more of the following:
    • Medical history and physical exam
    • Tests to look for blood in the stool
    • Blood tests
    • Diagnostic colonoscopy
    • Proctoscopy
    • Biopsy
    • CT scan
    • Ultrasound
    • MRI
    • Chest X-ray
    • PET scan
    • Angiography



How is colorectal cancer treated?


  • Treatment options include:
    • Surgery
    • Ablation and Embolization
    • Radiation therapy
    • Chemotherapy
    • Targeted therapy
    • Immunotherapy
  • Some medications commonly used to treat colorectal cancer are:
    • 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU)
    • Capecitabine (Xeloda)–pill form of 5-FU
    • Irinotecan (Camptosar)
    • Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin)
    • Trifluridine and tipiracil (Lonsurf)