In the United States, colon cancer is the second leading cause of deaths from cancer after lung cancer. Over 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with colon cancer each year and the deaths from it are equally highly.
The worst part of these statistics is that colon cancer is treatable provided it is diagnosed at an early stage. However, a person does not experience symptoms until the cancer has reached an advanced stage. That is why it is important to know what does colon cancer looks like.
What does Colon Cancer Looks Like?
Initially colon cancer starts with the development of polyps inside the lining of the colon wall. The polyps are very small, around 1 to 2 millimeters in size and they grow very slowly. Many of the polyps are shaped like mushrooms or cauliflower and have a stem to go with the shape that attaches them to the inside layers of the lining.
It takes many years for a polyp to grow to the size of a pea, that around 1 centimeters in size. However, the larger the polyp, the higher is the risk of developing colon cancer. Very often doctors might tell you that the polyps in the lining of the colon resemble warts or moles. This description is also valid as polyps can vary in appearance and size.
Most patients suffering from colon cancer do not display any symptoms but over time as the polyps turn cancerous, symptoms start appearing. Sometimes polyps can cause bleeding which can lead to anemia. This bleeding is painless and is not visible to naked eyes.
You should go for a colonoscopy at least once a year so that the doctor can check the progress of the polyps and they will be able to figure out whether colon cancer is developing. The chances of a polyp turning cancerous are 2.5 percent in 5 years but dramatically increases to 24 percent in 20 years.
Now that you know what does colon cancer looks like, you can start going for regular screening.
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