What is Bowel Cancer?
Bowel Cancer is an abnormal growth of cells lining the bowel forming a lump, called a malignant tumour. The cancer cells may spread outside the bowel from the primary cancer to lymph glands or other organs and these clusters of cells are called metastases or secondary cancer. The vast majority of bowel cancers involve the large bowel (colon and rectum); the small bowel is rarely affected.
How Common is Bowel Cancer?
In Australia and NZ bowel cancer is the most common internal cancer for both sexes combined. The disease is increasing as the average age of the population rises. More than 10,000 new cases are diagnosed in Australia and almost 3,000 in NZ each year. Australia and NZ are among the top 10 high risk countries in the world.
What is the Cause of Bowel Cancer?
The underlying cause of bowel cancer is not known. It is more common in developed countries and is thought to be due to the food we eat slowing the transit of stools through the bowel. This increases the exposure to the lining of the bowel by cancer-producing substances called carcinogens. Dietary factors therefore may be important as a causative factor. Genetic factors which you inherit from your parents are also important and research in genetics and molecular biology are increasing our knowledge of these inherited factors.
Read More At CSSANZ Website