Understanding Colorectal Cancer - Medical Animation
MEDICAL ANIMATION TRANSCRIPT: Cancer in the large intestine is called colorectal cancer. The parts of your large intestine are the colon, rectum, and anal canal. Most colorectal cancer starts in the colon, in small clumps of cells called polyps. Most polyps are benign, which means they contain abnormal cells that aren't cancer and won't spread to the rest of the body. They are only in the thin layer of tissue lining the inside of the intestine. If the abnormal cells become cancer cells, the polyp can grow bigger and invade deeper into the wall of the large intestine. If not treated, cancer cells can enter the blood stream and spread to nearby lymph nodes. Over time, these cells can travel to other organs and form more tumors. You may have a higher risk for getting colorectal cancer if you have a family history of colorectal cancer, have colon polyps, are age 50 or older, are obese, smoke cigarettes, aren't physically active, drink too much alcohol, or have a disease that inflames your colon such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. Symptoms for colorectal cancer can include a change in bowel habits such as diarrhea, constipation, or having stools more narrow than usual, bright red or dark blood in the stool, feeling unable to empty your bowel, belly pain, bloating or cramps, unexplained weight loss, feeling weak or very tired, and vomiting. It's important to know that these symptoms can be caused by conditions other than colon cancer. And it's possible to have colorectal cancer without any symptoms, especially in the early stages. If you have questions about colorectal cancer, talk to your healthcare provider.