Colorectal cancer is any cancer that affects the colon or the rectum. It goes by many names, including bowel cancer, colon cancer and rectal cancer. Colorectal cancer typically begins as polyps in the inner lining of the colon or rectum. When left untreated, the polyps can develop into cancer.
People with a personal or family history of colorectal cancer should get regular colonoscopies to check for the presence of polyps. Precancerous polyps are typically removed to prevent cancer from forming. If not removed, they may eventually grow into the wall of the colon or rectum, ultimately metastasizing through blood vessels or lymph vessels.
There is no one exact cause of colorectal cancer, but there are certain factors that can increase one’s risk for developing the disease:
- Family history: If a parent or sibling was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, your chances for developing it are higher.
- Diet and exercise habits: A diet that is high in red and processed meats may increase the risk of colorectal cancer. Living a sedentary lifestyle is also associated with an increased risk.
- Age: Chances for developing colorectal cancer increase after the age of 45.
- Other illnesses: A history of inflammatory bowel disease may increase one’s risk of developing colorectal cancer. Being chronically overweight or obese is also linked to a higher chance.
Colorectal cancer symptoms vary depending on the individual. Some people may not experience any symptoms, while others may notice a variety. Some symptoms include:
- Changes in bowel habits
- Feeling that the bowel is still full after a bowel movement
- Blood in feces (may make stool appear black)
- Pain or bloating in the abdomen
- Sudden iron deficiency
At UNIFONTIS, we treat colorectal cancer through all stages using a combination of vaccine therapy, hyperthermia, and aspirin infusion. Our integrative approach allows us to utilize a variety of innovative treatment options to give our patients their best fighting chance against cancer.