To decrease the incidence of colon cancer and related deaths in the tri-state area by causing individuals to make lifestyle choices that lessen the possibility of developing colon cancer and by increasing the number of individuals who seek timely colon cancer screening by providing programs to increase awareness about the disease and by providing education about methods of prevention and treatment of colon cancer.
Colon Screening for Life (CSFL) along with its many sponsors in the community would like to continue to advance its mission of education on the importance of early detection of colon cancer and spreading the message of prevention through regular screenings and a healthy lifestyle.
What is Colorectal Cancer?
Colon cancer affects men and women of all racial and ethnic groups, and is most often found in people 50 years or older. It is the third most common cancer in the United States, behind only lung and prostate cancers in men and lung and breast cancers in women, and the second leading cause of cancer death in both men and women combined.
Colorectal cancer is a cancer that starts in the colon or the rectum. These cancers can also be named colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where they start. Colon cancer and rectal cancer are often grouped together because they have many features in common.
Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer, and can spread to other areas of the body.
Most colorectal cancers begin as a growth on the inner lining of the colon or rectum called a polyp. Some types of polyps can change into cancer over the course of several years, but not all polyps become cancer. The chance of changing into a cancer depends on the kind of polyp. The 2 main types of polyps are:
- Adenomatous polyps (adenomas): These polyps sometimes change into cancer. Because of this, adenomas are called a precancerous condition.
- Hyperplastic polyps and inflammatory polyps: These polyps are more common, but in general they are not precancerous.
Dysplasia, another precancerous condition, is an area in a polyp or in the lining of the colon or rectum where the cells look abnormal (but not like true cancer cells).
If cancer forms in a polyp, it can eventually begin to grow into the wall of the colon or rectum.
The wall of the colon and rectum is made up of several layers. Colorectal cancer starts in the innermost layer (the mucosa) and can grow through some or all of the other layers. When cancer cells are in the wall, they can then grow into blood vessels or lymph vessels (tiny channels that carry away waste and fluid). From there, they can travel to nearby lymph nodes or to distant parts of the body.