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Staging Colon Cancer

When a doctor wants to evaluate the progress of colon cancer of one of his patients he or she uses a method called Staging. This method is about finding out to what extent the tumor (colon cancer) has spread to the other regions of the patients body. Once the doctors figured out in what stage the colon cancer is, they will develop the best course of action or treatment.

At this point in time the system that is most commonly used for the staging process of colon cancer is called the American Joint Committee on Cancer’s (AJCC) TNM staging system. Simply put this system used for staging places the patients into one of four stages.

Stage 0

Stage 0 also known as carcinoma in situ or colorectal cancer. In this stage the colon cancer has been detected in the innermost lining of the colon.

Stage I

In this stage the colon cancer has already begun to spread. But the cancer is still in the inner lining of the rectum or colon. In this stage the colon cancer has not reached the outer walls of the colon yet. Stage I is also known as Duke A or colorectal cancer.

Stage II

In this stage the colon cancer spread more deeply into or through the colon or rectum. Possibly the colon cancer may have affected other tissue as well. In this stage the colon cancer hasn’t reached the Lymph nodes (bean-sized structures which can be found in the entire body that helps the body fight all kinds of infections and diseases. Stage II is also known as Duke B or colorectal cancer.

Stage III

When you are in this stage the colon cancer has now spread to the Lymph nodes although it hasn’t spread to nearby parts of the body. Stage III is also known as Duke C or colorectal cancer.

Stage IV

In this stage the colon cancer has spread through the Lymph node system to other nearby tissue. This is most commonly called metastasis. The organs that most likely are affected are the lungs and liver. Stage IV is also known as Duke D or colorectal cancer.

Recurrent Colon Cancer or Cancerous Cells

When doctors talk about recurrent colon cancer they mean that cancerous cells that have already been treated have returned. These cancerous cells could possibly have returned as colorectal cancer but they might as well return in any other part of the body too.

Testing For Inherited Colon Cancer

Inherited colon cancer is an issue that both men and women need to be concerned about. Since this type of cancer is part of the DNA coding there is nothing you can do prevent the fact that you may have it. However, you can get tested for inherited colon cancer and therefore your doctor can help you prevent it from affecting your lifestyle.

Even though inherited colon cancer is still a major ailment in or society, the number of deaths from it continue to drop due to various types of testing that have been implemented over the past 15 years. Early screenings at annual check ups can identify any development of polyps. The removal of them will prevent colon cancer from starting and from spreading.

Once polyps have been discovered on an individual, they will be scheduled for regular follow up appointments. These may be every three months, six months, or annually depending on the family history of inherited colon cancer and the amount of polyps that were discovered. Those with high cholesterol are also at a greater risk of inherited colon cancer. Getting tested for that can help to detect factors that can be controlled as everyone can choose to reduce the amount of fatty foods they consume.

Testing for diabetes is common for those with inherited colon cancer as well. Statistics show that individuals with diabetes are 1/3 more likely to be diagnosed with inherited colon cancer. Effective treatment of their diabetes can help to offset the development of the colon cancer.

There are different types of screenings that a person can have completed in order to be tested for inherited colon cancer. A fecal blood test can be done annually when the individual goes in for a regular check up. There is a flexible sigmoidoscopy that can be conducted every five years. A full colonoscopy only has to be done once every ten years. Your doctor can tell you what tests they recommend you engage in based on your family history, your current health issues, and your age.

Inherited colon cancer is an issue you really need to be concerned with it there is any family history of it at all. It is ranked as the third highest form of cancer diagnosed in the United States. It is the second largest cause of cancer related deaths in the United States as well. While it does affect slightly more males than females both sexes need to be aware of their family history. If this isn’t possible then early testing should be part of preventative measures.

More than one million people in the United States have been diagnosed with inherited colon cancer and are survivors. Due to the progressing of testing for it and aggressive treatment options early diagnosis definitely has contributed to their ability to beat the odds. It can take up to ten years from the first signs of inherited colon cancer being recognized to a person developing incurable cancer that will spread and result in their death.

Eliminating Barriers To Colon Cancer Screening

There is good news for those concerned about colon cancer. Physicians know that colon cancer screening saves lives. Yet an estimated 148,000 Americans, both women and men, are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year, and every year approximately 55,000 will die-the nation’s second deadliest cancer. Yet, it’s believed most of these deaths could be prevented through proper screening.

However, experts from the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) warn that too few Americans are getting screened. Colorectal screening rates remain very low, even though Medicare and many private plans pay for screening tests.

Despite increasing public awareness of colon cancer screening tests through the efforts of Katie Couric and others, many people continue to face obstacles to screening. Even Medicare beneficiaries, for whom incidence and death from the disease are highest, encounter problems with access to screening colonoscopy.

Congress Can Help

“Pending legislation in the U.S. Congress, such as the Colon Cancer Screen for Life Act (S.1010/ H.R. 1632), promises to remove Medicare’s barriers to screening,” says ACG President Dr. Jack A. DiPalma of Mobile, Alabama. “But only one small improvement, the waiver of the Medicare deductible, was approved for 2006, so much remains to be done.”

Research indicates that colon cancer arises from precancerous growths or polyps that grow in the colon. When detected early, these growths or polyps can be removed, actually preventing the development of colon cancer.

“With improved use of colon cancer screening, we can save lives,” adds Dr. DiPalma.

The College currently recommends colonoscopy every 10 years beginning at age 50 for average-risk individuals as the preferred screening strategy to prevent colon cancer.

For patients with higher risk factors such as a family history of colon cancer or a previous personal history of polyps, and for African Americans, ACG recommends earlier and/or more frequent screening with colonoscopy.

New At-Home Test Aids In Cancer Screening

There’s encouraging news for the millions of Americans at risk for colon cancer. A new, easy-to-use fecal occult blood test (FOBT) is available for at-home screening and is designed specifically to detect colon cancer at its earliest stages.

Hemoccult ICT is a new, safe and affordable FOBT screening option for colon cancer-the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Despite its high incidence, colon cancer is a highly treatable cancer, with a 90 percent survival rate when detected early. Unfortunately, only half of the more than 80 million Americans over age 50 have been screened for colon cancer.

The American Cancer Society recommends annual screening with a FOBT for both men and women beginning at age 50. Annual colon cancer screening with FOBT has been proven to decrease mortality by 33 percent when compared with no screening. Because colon cancer can take three to 10 years or longer to develop in the average patient, it is important to begin screening prior to developing symptoms.

FOBT vs. Colonoscopy

For years colonoscopy has been the most well-known test in colon cancer screening. While widely regarded as the gold standard, colonoscopy does have some drawbacks:

• Colonoscopy costs between $300 and $1,000, and while covered by insurance for many, millions of Americans lack health insurance.

• Standard colonoscopy can be overwhelming for some people due to the fact that the procedure is usually done under sedation, and because patients are required to follow a special diet and take a very strong laxative before the exam.

• Due to a limited number of trained professionals and the equipment needed to perform the tests, the maximum number of colonoscopies that can be performed in the United States each year can accommodate only a quarter of the Americans in need of screening.

Unlike other available FOBTs, the new Hemoccult ICT has no drug or dietary restrictions-allowing people to begin testing at their convenience. If a test comes back positive, a follow-up colonoscopy typically is recommended.

Treatments & Coping With Colon Cancer

Patients who receive a diagnosis of colon cancer quickly become depressed and have a lot of unanswered questions about their future. The most important thing for them to realize is that they are not alone and that their friends and family are there to provide love and support.

When dealing with any type of illness, including colon cancer, family and friends are the first thought of a positive support system. Understandably, these same people may be experiencing a lot of emotional pain and anxiety themselves, which stems from seeing their loved on suffering from an illness. If, for these reasons, a cancer patient cannot find support at home, it’s a good idea to join a local support group or become involved in an activity that they enjoy. If their health allows it, a cancer patient should continue living life and enjoying every day as possible. While quality of life is very important, making sure to take time out for rest is one of the key points for successful recovery from any illness.

Immediately following diagnosis, a colon cancer patient may want to visit their local library or research the internet for educational resources, of which there are plenty available. This information will help the patient to become better informed and allow them to be more involved with their treatment. It’s important to know, and understand, what is happening to the body during an illness, treatments and recovery. It is equally recommended that a patient remain involved in his/her care for as long as possible. This can be achieved by conducting research, asking the physician a lot of questions and preparing for best and worst case scenarios.

Depending on how advanced a cancer patient’s illness is, several treatment options are available. If a patient decides to move forward with treatment, he/she may also wish to consult another physician for a second opinion in order to confirm the diagnosis and recommended treatment. The best outcome is to eliminate the cancer completely but, if that is not possible, the doctor may be able to stop the cancer from spreading or to relieve the patient‘s symptoms and discomfort.

Assuming the patient’s health will allow it, and he/she wishes to pursue remedies, the main method of treatment is surgery. Depending on the location and size of the cancer, a doctor may be able to remove all or part of the colon. If a polyp is the only cancer that is known to be present, it may be all that needs removing. In some cases of colon cancer, the patient must wear a permanent colostomy following surgery. This occurs if the cancer is so advanced that it forces the doctor to remove the entire colon.

Another common approach to treating colon cancer is for the patient to begin a series of chemotherapy treatments. This process involves the intake of medicines to help fight the cancer cells, which can either be taken orally or delivered through the patient’s veins. This option is often most useful to rid the patient of any lingering cancer cells following surgery. In addition, chemotherapy may be used to control the growth of cancer, relieve symptoms and prolong life. Radiation therapy, often used in conjunction with chemotherapy to help combat various other cancers, is not a treatment used to help colon cancer patients after surgery.

This article should not be construed as professional medical advice. If you, or someone that you know, is concerned about the possibility of cancer, you should seek medical attention immediately. A medical doctor can discuss various options, prevention and treatment possibilities should the presence of cancer be detected. A series of tests may be conducted in order to confirm, or rule out, any such diagnosis and can only be done by a medical doctor.

A Mother’s Battle With Advanced Colon Cancer

In the fall of 2003, Bridget Beranek, a 44-year-old wife and mother of two young girls, was gearing up for a busy holiday season filled with family functions, parties and shopping. So when she began to lose her appetite and energy, Bridget initially chalked it up to holiday stress.

When the New Year came and went, but Bridget’s symptoms were still present, she knew it was more than stress. After several visits to her primary care physician, Bridget saw an internist, and underwent a colonoscopy. In March 2004, she was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer that had spread to her liver.

“I know it sounds cliché, but I couldn’t believe this was happening to me,” said Bridget. “Scheduling a colonoscopy was not a priority for me because I was under 50 and lived a healthy lifestyle. I ate right, didn’t drink or smoke, and went regularly for a mammogram. One thing I learned from this experience is that colon cancer is a disease more people, especially women, need to be better informed about.”

The American Cancer Society reports that colorectal cancer, commonly referred to as colon cancer, is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, second only to lung cancer. It is also the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women.

Risk factors for colon cancer include a family or personal history of the disease, intestinal polyps or chronic inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, a high-fat diet, and being age 50 or older. Symptoms may include changes in bowel habits, abdominal discomfort, vomiting, fatigue, blood in the stool or unexplained weight loss, though many people are diagnosed without any symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends men and women over age 50 who have an average risk for colon cancer receive screening. Higher-risk patients, such as those with a family history of the disease, should talk with their physicians about when they should begin screening.

Fortunately for Bridget, a new treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer had just been approved by the FDA, only weeks before her diagnosis. Her oncologist decided to treat her with a combination of traditional chemotherapy and a targeted therapy called Avastin® (bevacizumab). Though she occasionally has side effects such as fatigue, Bridget’s cancer has responded to the treatment and she is doing well. She is thankful to be able to spend time with her husband and daughters, and to practice her favorite hobby, photography.

Typically, metastatic colorectal cancer patients undergo surgery followed by chemotherapy. Today’s targeted therapies, which are designed to attack cancer cells in a more specific way than chemotherapy, provide an additional tool for doctors to use in treating this disease. Avastin, for example, is an angiogenesis inhibitor, which means it interferes with the blood vessels that feed cancer tumors, to help prevent tumors from growing and spreading to other parts of the body. Avastin is approved for use in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy for first-line treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.

It is important to keep in mind that Avastin has been associated with side effects in colorectal cancer. Serious side effects occur rarely, but can include gastrointestinal perforation and slow or incomplete wound healing and blood clot complications. Other more common side effects seen in clinical trials include nosebleeds, high blood pressure, proteinuria (too much protein in the urine, which may be a sign of kidney damage), weakness, pain, diarrhea, and a reduced white blood cell count.

Because everyone is different, it is not possible to predict what side effects an individual may experience. If you have questions about side effects or treatment with Avastin, talk to your doctor or another member of the health-care team.

Red Manhood Protection From Cold Weather

Now that cold weather is blowing through, winter is definitely here. While even warm weather aficionados can find some things about the cold they like (hot chocolate, roaring fires, an excuse to stay inside and binge watch), it’s equally true that even cold weather fans can find drawbacks. And for men, that includes getting a red manhood from freezing temperatures and bitter icy winds. Finding ways to keep the member sufficiently warm during these winter months is part of good male organ care.

Red manhood

Now, there’s usually nothing wrong with a red manhood. Men who are fair-skinned tend to get a red manhood when it becomes firm, as the blood rushing into the engorged member causes a change in coloration. But sometimes a red manhood can signal a problem, such as being far too cold.

Anyone who has ever jumped into a pool of cold water has witnessed a cold red manhood � and one that is usually shriveled. But when the male organ is exposed to extreme cold temperatures for a prolonged time, it may actually get a little swollen and can experience extreme pain.

In some severe cases, a red manhood may be an indication of frostbite (or frostnip, an early stage condition of frostbite). Frostbite is accompanied by a numbness (lack of feeling or deadened feeling), swelling, blistering and fever, although not all men may experience all of these symptoms. If a man suspects he has a frostbitten member or other body part, he should seek medical attention. Severe frostbite can destroy tissue and in extreme cases may lead to amputation.

Keeping warm

To help fight that winter cold, there are several ways to keep the manhood warm during the winter.

�Don’t go commando. First and foremost, men who habitually walk around without underwear should suspend that habit when venturing out into winter weather. The cold weather can be too dangerous to male organ health, no matter how nice the feeling of freedom may be.

�Stand in front of a fire. Spending a few minutes in front of a fireplace can help warm up a member so it withstands the cold better during its first minutes outside.

�Give the member a rub. Similarly, taking a couple of minutes to rub and massage the manhood before tackling the cold can be beneficial. This will get the blood circulating and help deflect the initial cold.

�Tuck it in. If he is only going to be outside for a few minutes, a guy can try tucking his manhood between his legs for extra warmth. However, since it will pop out relatively quickly, this is a very short term solution.

�Layer up. Doubling up on underwear is strongly advised. Just as a guy may wear a shirt, sweater and coat to combat the cold, so should he consider wearing more than one pair of underwear. The bottom layer should be tight briefs, an athletic supporter or compression shorts, each of which will fit the male organ more snugly.

�Go thermal. It can also help to wear thermal underwear, which may add an extra layer of warmth to the region.

�Investigate wind briefs. Many runners wear wind briefs, specially designed underwear with an extra layer of protection in the midsection.

�Wear a member warmer. A man can invest in an actual knitted member warmer � or simply wear a (clean) sock over the organ when temperatures get frosty.

Taking steps to prevent a red manhood due to cold weather pays off. So does taking steps to ensure overall male organ health, such as regularly applying a top drawer male organ health crme (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin). For best results, a guy should select a crme that is going to �cover all the bases� by including the major vitamins necessary for member health promotion � A, B5, C, D and E. In addition, the crme should include L-arginine, an amino acid which helps manhood blood vessels expand so they can accommodate a greater flow of blood.