Activity and expression of urokinase-type plasminogen activator and matrix metalloproteinases in human colorectal cancer

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Activity and expression of urokinase-type plasminogen activator and matrix metalloproteinases in human colorectal cancer

Publisher
BioMed Central
Publication Date
Aug 18, 2006
Source
PMC
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Medicine
License
Unknown

Abstract

What is colon adenocarcinoma? Colon adenocarcinoma is the most common type of gastrointestinal cancer, with about 140,000 cases each year in the United States, according of the National Cancer Institute. This type of cancer begins in the cells of glandular structures in the inner layer of the colon and spreads first into the wall of the colon and potentially into the lymphatic system and other organs. Colon adenocarcinoma can be treated, with 50 percent of patients surviving for at least five years. Early-stage colon cancers have survival rates of 70 to 80 percent. Who is most likely to have colon adenocarcinoma? Colon cancer stems from colon polyps that turn cancerous, and individuals who develop polyps are at the highest risk of colon cancer. For this reason, individuals with a family history of adenomatous polyposis or Gardner’s syndrome–both marked by the growth of multiple colon and rectal polyps–are at high risk. Individuals age 50 or older who are not screened regularly for polyps are at higher risk, as well, since polyps grow in 30 percent of individuals past the age of 50. Colon cancer also is associated with a diet high in fat and beef and low in fiber. Other risk factors include a personal history of previous cancer or inflammatory bowel disease. What characterizes colon adenocarcinoma? Colon adenocarcinoma progresses slowly and may not present symptoms for up to five years. As the cancer grows, symptoms become more likely and can include rectal bleeding, fatigue, shortness of breath, angina, changes in bowel habits, abdominal discomfort, anemia, or bowel obstruction. What tests can help identify colon adenocarcinoma? Because most colon adenocarcinomas do not present symptoms, most are found through regular physical examinations. About 5 to 10 percent of colon cancers are initially discovered during a digital rectal exam (DRE), in which a primary care physician inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the patient’s rectum. A blood test also can show the

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