Understanding the Various Types of Colorectal Cancer

Choice Cancer Care explains the various types of colorectal cancer.

Irving, Texas – June 14, 2020 –Many types of colorectal cancers begin as polyps in the gastrointestinal tract lining. Most of them are benign, but some grow and turn cancerous (adenoma) over time. Colorectal cancer is classified based on the location of the initial adenoma. The disease potentially grows and spreads into lymph nodes or blood vessels.

“Cancer of the colon and rectum is further classified according to the type of cell from which the malignancy forms,” explained Choice Cancer Care. “It is a slow-growing cancer which gradually enlarges and penetrates the bowel wall. Screening can help identify it in its early stages when it can be treated effectively.”

The different types of colorectal cancer include;

  • Gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors – These are carcinoid tumors that develop in neuroendocrine cells. They are slow-growing and may develop in the gastrointestinal tract and lungs.
  • Colorectal adenocarcinoma – Adenocarcinomas develop in the large intestine lining. They begin in the inner lining before spreading to the other layers. Colorectal adenocarcinomas occur in two subtypes known as mucinous adenocarcinoma and signet ring cell adenocarcinoma. Mucinous adenocarcinoma is very aggressive and spreads fast, while signet ring cell adenocarcinoma is difficult to treat.
  • Primary colorectal lymphoma – This is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that develops in the lymphocytes. Lymphoma can develop in the bone marrow, thymus, lymph nodes, spleen, and the digestive tract. It occurs later in life and is more common in men than in women.
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumors – Gastrointestinal stromal tumors are rare, and they form in special cells in the gastrointestinal tract lining known as interstitial cells of Cajal. Most of them develop in the stomach, small intestine, and rectum. They are classified as sarcomas.

When colorectal cancer spreads, it invades the nearby lymph nodes into the intestinal wall. A distant metastasis of the disease occurs in the brain, liver, and lungs. Your doctor can offer advice on the best screening method to help detect and remove polyps before they grow into cancer.

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