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Large Intestine Cancer

Author: Sally Rider

Published: 2009-04-02

Synopsis and Key Points:

Large Intestine Cancer forms in the tissues of the colon most colon cancers are adenocarcinomas.

Main Digest

When large intestine adenocarcinoma spreads outside the colon or rectum, cancer cells are often found in nearby lymph nodes. If cancer cells have reached these nodes, they may also have spread to other lymph nodes or other organs. Large intestine adenocarcinoma (cancer) cells most often spread to the liver.

Large Intestine Cancer forms in the tissues of the colon. Most colon cancers are adenocarcinomas.

Alternate Names: Colon Cancer, Colon Carcinoma, Colorectal Cancer, Colorectal Carcinoma, Rectal Cancer, Rectal Carcinoma, Large Bowel Cancer, Large Bowel Carcinoma, Large Intestine Adenocarinoma

When large intestine adenocarcinoma spreads outside the colon or rectum, cancer cells are often found in nearby lymph nodes. If cancer cells have reached these nodes, they may also have spread to other lymph nodes or other organs. Large intestine adenocarcinoma (cancer) cells most often spread to the liver.

Large intestine adenocarcinoma (cancer) is more likely to occur as people age. More than 90% of people with this disease are diagnosed after age 50 and the average age at diagnosis is 72.

The following may be used to diagnose the disease: fecal occult blood test (FOBT), sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, double-contrast barium enema, and/or digital rectal exam.The following tests and procedures may be used to determine if the Large intestine adenocarcinoma has spread: CT scan, lymph node biopsy, complete blood count, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) assay, MRI, and/or surgery.

If the cancer is inoperable or unresectable, treatment with radiation or chemotherapy can be utilized for palliation, but the prognosis is poor.

Large intestine adenocarcinoma (colon cancer) is the second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. Inoperable or unresectable large intestine adenocarcinoma may progress locally and cause intestinal obstruction, uncontrolled GI bleeding, and/or severe pain from invasion into the sacral nerve plexus.

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