WHAT IS COLORECTAL CANCER?
Drs. Angela Rasmussen and Amanda del Cueto of Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, Florida, describe colorectal cancer as any cancer that affects the colon or rectal areas. These may be called colon cancer or rectal cancer, respectively. Typically, colon cancers can start with noncancerous, benign lumps or polyps in the colon, with some of these benign polyps becoming cancerous with time. This is why it is essential to have colorectal cancer screenings regularly as an adult to monitor and look for these indications of colorectal cancer and learn about the possible treatments.
STATISTICS ABOUT COLORECTAL CANCER
- In the United States, approximately 136,000 people get a colorectal cancer diagnosis each year
- Over 50,000 people are predicted to die of colorectal cancer each year
- The third most common type of cancer in men and women is colorectal cancer
- Colorectal cancer mortality rates and diagnosis is highest in men and women of African American descent
SYMPTOMS OF COLORECTAL CANCER:
- Abdominal distension without weight gain
- Abdominal pain, rare in colon cancer
- Changing nature or frequency of bowel movements
- Frequent vomiting or nausea of unknown cause
- Unexplained weight loss
TREATMENT FOR COLON CANCER:
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy
HOW IS COLORECTAL CANCER RELATED TO YOUR MOUTH?
One of the most common types of oral bacteria, known as fusobacteria, which causes periodontal disease, is also believed to play a role in the development of colorectal cancers.
While fusobacteria begins in the oral cavity and is often associated with gum disease, it can enter the bloodstream and migrate to other parts of the intestinal tract. While this type of bacteria has not been found within cancerous tumors, it is linked to colorectal cancers.
Studies also show that the presence of this fusobacteria increases the generation and growth of tumors, specifically those in the intestines, in a mutant strain of mice. This particular microbe infection can attract myeloid cells, which are immune system responses to inflammation that can lead to cancer.
HOW DO I LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LINKS BETWEEN PERIODONTAL DISEASE AND COLORECTAL CANCER?
Drs. Angela Rasmussen and Amanda del Cueto of Tampa, Florida, can evaluate your smile and help monitor for signs of problems—catching them early enough for successful intervention.
If you reside in the community and want to speak to our team about screening for certain conditions that can impact the smile and the body, call (813) 734-7102.