FAQ #10 About Colon Cancer

March 12th, 2011 by mike Leave a reply »

Is it possible to have colon or rectal cancer without having polyps?

Colorectal cancer can occur without polyps, but it is an uncommon event. Individuals with long-standing inflammatory bowel diseases, such as chronic ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s colitis, are at increased risk for developing colorectal cancer that occurs in the absence of polyps. The greater the extent of colonic involvement by inflammatory bowel disease and the greater the duration of the disease, the greater the risk of colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancers in individuals with chronic inflammatory bowel disease may appear as flat, plaque like lesions or may even be indistinguishable from the surrounding colon tissue. Large mass-like lesions with distinct margins seen with most colorectal cancers are uncommon in inflammatory bowel disease.

Colorectal cancer associated with inflammatory bowel disease accounts for less than 1 percent of all colorectal cancers diagnosed in the United States each year. There are also reports that suggest some tiny colon cancers may arise in flat colon tissue which is either entirely normal or contains a small flat area of adenomatous (precancerous) tissue. This type of colorectal cancer is the exception to the rule and is considered a rare event. The vast majority of colorectal cancers arise from pre-existing adenomatous (precancerous) polyps.

Source: PreventCancer.org

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