What is a Colon Tumor?

Abnormal growths found in the colon are referred to as colon tumors, and may be indicative of colon cancer.
Persistent fatigue may be a sign of colon cancer.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent colon cancer.
Colon cancer is preventable if a colon tumor is detected early.
Article Details
  • Written By: C. Njiraini
  • Edited By: Jay Garcia
  • Last Modified Date: 17 December 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A colon tumor is an abnormal growth of cells found in the colon and can be an indication of colon cancer. If the colon tumor spreads to the bottom part of the colon, also known as the rectum, it can be an indication of colorectal cancer.

Some colon tumors are non-cancerous and are called benign polyps. Since benign polyps do not cause colon cancer, they are not dangerous, but if they are not identified and removed, they can change into cancerous tumors. Benign polyps are identified and removed through a procedure called a colonoscopy.

A colonoscopy is a procedure in which a doctor inserts a long, plastic, flexible tube into the colon through the rectum. The tube is fitted with a camera and allows the doctor to see inside of the colon. If the doctor sees any abnormal growth or a colon tumor, he can remove it immediately and test it for colon cancer.

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Other tests used to screen for colon cancer are a fecal blood test, a sigmoidoscopy, a virtual colonoscopy, a double contrast barium enema and a digital rectal exam. Each test has its own advantages and disadvantages and a medical expert considers certain factors to determine which test to use to screen colon cancer in each person. These factors include the general health of the person, his age, medical history, family history and the potential harm of the test to the person. Other factors considered are the accuracy of the test, the preparation required for the test, the convenience of taking the test and whether or not sedation is required. Some medical experts also consider the cost of the test and whether or not it is covered by insurance.

Colon cancer causes the third most cancer deaths in the United States and is the third most common cancer after lung and prostate cancer for men, and lung and breast cancer for women. Inheritance and personal history are some causes of colon cancer. The chance of getting the cancer also increases with age. Other causes of colon cancer are lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking alcohol, lack of physical activity and a diet rich in red meat and calories. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and low in fat can help prevent colon cancer.

Symptoms of colon cancer are blood in the stool, change in bowel habit, unexplained weight loss and persistent fatigue. Colon cancer is preventable if a colon tumor is detected early. If a colon tumor is not detected early enough and is confirmed by a biopsy to be cancerous, then the tumor is treated through chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery or a combination of any of the three.

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Discuss this Article

anon280626
Post 6

If the colon cancer is removed, then what?

Ziondaughter
Post 5

What does it mean to have multiple small sized liver metastatic nodules and a colonic tumor?

closerfan12
Post 3

Is it possible to have a colon tumor that is actually outside the colon.

Although having colon tumors on the colon wall is more common, people do get tumors on the outside of the colon as well.

However, this usually happens when colon cancer metastasizes and moves outside the bowel -- a serious advance in the disease.

pharmchick78
Post 2

@Firstviolin -- Well, unfortunately, many people with colon polyps don't even know they have them.

The colon tumor symptoms so often don't show up until the polyp or tumor is big enough to cause problems.

However, colon tumors and colon cancer do share one similar symptom: blood in the stool, or bleeding after a bowel movement.

This can be a sign of a benign tumor in the colon, but it can also be a sign of a more serious condition, like a colonic tumor.

Either way, if you have any very dark colored or tarry stools, or if there is blood in your stool or on your underwear after a bowel movement, then you should see your doctor immediately.

As the article says, many people don't get help for colon tumors until it's too late for an easy fix.

Be sure to monitor your colorectal health as carefully as you would anything else.

FirstViolin
Post 1

So how can I tell the difference between colon cancer and a tumor?

Are the symptoms of benign colon tumors different from those of cancerous colon tumors?

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