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Katie Couric gives a tribute to Tony Snow, the former news anchor for Fox TV and Press Secretary for President George W Bush. Tony Snow developed recurrent colon cancer and died at the age of 53 early Saturday, July 12, 2008. Here’s more information from our companion website, patientresource.net:
Colon cancers are cancers that form in the mucosal lining of the colon. Rectal cancers are cancers that form in the tissues of the rectum, the last six to ten inches of the large intestine before the anus. About 150,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer every year in the United States, making it the third most common type of cancer. Although cancers of the colon and the rectum are similar, they may be treated differently because of the anatomic location where they start.
About 95 percent of colorectal cancers are adenocarcinomas, which are cancers that begin in cells that line the large intestine and make and release mucus and other fluids. No one knows the exact causes of colorectal cancer. Tumors of the colon and rectum usually begin in the inner wall of the large intestine.
Most cancers of the large intestine are believed to have developed from polyps. Polyps are benign tumors of the large intestine. Polyps are not life threatening, and they can be easily removed during a colonoscopy, a common screening test for colon cancer. There is strong evidence though that patients who form multiple polyps in their colon or rectum are at higher risk for developing colorectal cancer. If benign polyps are not removed from the large intestine, they can become cancerous over time. Finding and removing polyps are now known to be important in preventing colorectal cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends a baseline colonoscopy when people reach age 50 and then every 10 years or so, depending upon the findings. This is especially true for individuals who have a history of colon or rectal cancer in their family.