Colon cancer is diagnosed after cancerous cells, often beginning as non-cancerous polyps, are found in the large intestine, or colon. Regular screening, such as colonoscopy, can help catch the signs of cancer early - when they are easiest to treat.
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Colon cancer is the growth of cancer cells in the colon, which is in the lower section of the digestive system. The majority of colon cancer cases begin as small, noncancerous groups of cells called adenomatous polyps. These polyps can be tiny and cause no symptoms. As a result, regular screening is suggested to help prevent colon cancer by recognizing polyps before they become cancerous.
Certain people may be at a greater risk for developing colon cancer, including those older than 50 years old, those who have had other types of cancer, a family history of colon cancer, those who have had colon polyps, those who have had ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, and those who have genetic conditions that might make them more prone to have colon cancer. In addition, a low-fiber, high-fat diet, an inactive lifestyle, diabetes, obesity, smoking and alcohol can increase a person’s risk for colon cancer. African Americans are also at a higher risk for colon cancer.