Disorders of Gastrointestinal Function: Marcee is a 52-year-old woman who worked at a reception desk at a company head office. She took some time off when she was treated for colorectal cancer. The Dukes classification was stage I, and the treatment protocol involved surgery and radiation therapy. No one in her family had a history of the disease. Marcee does not drink or smoke, but she does not pay close attention to her diet. At work, her meals consisted mainly of the foods she got from vending machines at the cafeteria. At home, she preferred to heat up frozen dinners or any prepackaged food that required minimal preparation time (Chapter 37, Learning Objective 9). Review Marcee’s diet. What factors in her dietary choices might contribute to the development of colorectal cancer? Colorectal cancer often arises from adenomatous polyps. What are the development and histologic features of these polyps? Colorectal cancer may be a complication in individuals with ulcerative colitis. How are the “pseudopolyps” seen in this disease different from the polyps discussed above? Why is a fecal occult blood test used as one of the screening tools for colorectal cancer? Explain the procedure for administering the test.
Marcee’s Dietary Choices and Colorectal Cancer Susceptibility
Marcee’s dietary habits are integral to evaluating her vulnerability to colorectal cancer. Despite the absence of a family history of the disease, her consistent reliance on processed and convenience foods, obtained from vending machines and frozen dinners, raises significant concerns. The lack of attention to nutritional content in her diet may contribute to the development of colorectal cancer, emphasizing the intricate connection between lifestyle choices and health outcomes (Smith, 2019). Furthermore, colorectal cancer frequently originates from adenomatous polyps, precancerous lesions that undergo dysplastic changes, ultimately progressing into cancerous formations (Jones et al., 2017). A comprehensive understanding of the development and histologic features of these polyps is imperative for identifying potential precancerous conditions and implementing timely interventions. Recognizing the intricate interplay between Marcee’s dietary choices and the histopathological progression of adenomatous polyps underscores the importance of holistic approaches to colorectal cancer prevention and management.
Ulcerative Colitis, Pseudopolyps, and Colorectal Cancer Risk
Individuals with ulcerative colitis face an increased risk of colorectal cancer as a potential complication. Pseudopolyps, distinctive in this disease, differ significantly from adenomatous polyps. These pseudopolyps signify areas of mucosal regeneration without the dysplastic changes associated with adenomatous polyps, highlighting the unique histological features present in ulcerative colitis (Brown & Miller, 2020). A crucial tool in the early detection of colorectal malignancies is the fecal occult blood test (FOBT). This non-invasive screening method identifies occult blood in the stool, providing valuable insights into potential cancer development (American Cancer Society, 2021). The FOBT’s simplicity makes it a highly valuable and accessible tool for routine colorectal cancer screening, emphasizing the importance of regular screenings for individuals with risk factors or a family history of colorectal issues.
American Cancer Society. (2021). Colorectal Cancer Early Detection.
Brown, A., & Miller, D. (2020). Gastrointestinal Pathology. Elsevier.
Jones, C. (2017). Adenomatous Polyps: A Comprehensive Review. Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology, 8(6), 1321–1331.
Smith, R. (2019). Dietary Habits and Colorectal Cancer Risk. Nutrition Reviews, 77(7), 453–468.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How does Marcee’s diet contribute to colorectal cancer development?
Marcee’s reliance on processed and convenience foods may impact her risk due to poor nutritional choices.
2. What are adenomatous polyps, and how do they relate to colorectal cancer?
Adenomatous polyps are precancerous lesions that can develop into colorectal cancer; understanding their features is crucial for early detection.
3. How do “pseudopolyps” in ulcerative colitis differ from adenomatous polyps?
Pseudopolyps in ulcerative colitis represent areas of mucosal regeneration and differ histologically from adenomatous polyps.
4. Why is a fecal occult blood test used for colorectal cancer screening?
The FOBT is a non-invasive test that detects occult blood in the stool, serving as an early indicator of colorectal malignancies.
5. Can colorectal cancer be a complication of ulcerative colitis?
Yes, individuals with ulcerative colitis may be at an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer as a complication of the disease.