Colon cancer is cancer of large intestines, where abnormal growth of cells forms tumors. This causes damage to intestinal function and causes blockage. Colon cancer usually does not show any signs and symptoms in the early stages. However, in some cases, a small growth called a polyp can lead to colon cancer in later stages. However, Colon cancer is the most common type of cancer. Affecting both men and women. Furthermore, colon cancer is the most treatable type of cancer if diagnosed and treated in the initial stages.
Signs and Symptoms of Colon Cancer:
Colon cancer does not show symptoms in the initial stages. However, some symptoms appear when the disease extends to some stage. which can be as follows:
- On and off Abdominal pain
- Frequently complaints of constipation/change in bowel pattern
- Sudden Weight lose
- Feeling of fullness
- Feeling of flatulence
- Decrease appetite
- The feeling of low energy(lethargy)
- Skin color changes
- rectal bleeding and pain
- Frequent vomits if the tumor blocks the intestine.
Colon cancer diagnostic tests.
Diagnostic tests depend upon the guidelines and criteria. However, your physician will suggest specific tests on the basis of your signs and symptoms.
Physical Examination and Medical History:
Your physician will ask for a complete medical history including present signs and symptoms. Also include past medical conditions including, family history, diet, exercise, physical assessment for abdominal tenderness or distension, daily bowel habits, use of over-the-counter drugs, etc.
- Colonoscopy and Biopsy: This procedure is done by inserting a flexible tube containing a mini camera to visualize the internal colon and at the same time a small piece of the colon from the suspicious region is taken to look for the diagnostic purposes type of cancer.
- Imaging tests: Various imaging tests are used for diagnostic purposes like CT scans, ultrasound, MRI, and PET scans used to find cancer in other parts of the body.
Causes of colorectal cancer:
The exact cause of colon cancer is unknown. However, there are some risk factors as follows.
- Family history. (Genetic predisposition plays a very strong role in developing cancer
- Obesity(as there are more fats in the body more inflammatory processes take place in the body Also some imbalances of hormones take place which may lead to cancer.
- Some inflammatory diseases: Disease like ulcerative colitis causes direct damage to the inner mucosa by causing inflammation in colon tissues which further aggravate cells to grow abnormally.
- Overconsumption of alcohol (It is said that alcohol contains some cancer-causing chemicals which can lead to colorectal cancer if consumption is more.
- Use of Tobacco. Inhaling chemicals called free radicals in cigarette smoke causes alteration in cell functions and leads to genetic mutation which further leads to cancer.
- Frozen or Processed Food: A 2019 study published in the British Medical Journal suggests that processed food lacks vitamins and fibers and contains more amount of sugars, salts, fats, and preservatives which can lead to altering cell function and can lead to cancer.
How you can prevent colon cancer?
Following are some tips to prevent colorectal cancer.
High-fiber diet: A high-fiber diet prevents constipation and also reduces the friction of intestinal content with intestinal walls.
Prevent constipation. Constipation causes toxic effects on intestinal walls and also leads to polyps which in later stages can lead to cancer. However, the prevention of constipation is very important.
- Active lifestyle by doing more physical exercise
- Lower use of processed food
- Get treatment for colon diseases like irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcerative colitis which may have long-lasting inflammation which could lead to colorectal cancer.
- Weights control/prevent obesity.
Treatment of Colon Cancer
Fortunately, its survival rates are very high if diagnosed in the initial stages. However, the treatment depends upon the stage of the cancer. The following are treatment options.
However, Surgical treatment of colon cancer is surgical resection of the part of the colon that contains tumor and anastomosis/attaché to the next normal part of the colon. A temporary colostomy bag is made for a few months and then reversed after some months in some cases.
Furthermore, Chemotherapy is given to patients to eradicate /kill the cancer cells and to prevent its spread to other parts of the body.
In conclusion, colon cancer can be controlled and prevented complications by diagnosis and treatment on time. Moreover, Consult your health care provider /physician if you feel above mentioned signs and symptoms. However, diagnosis in the initial stages has very good results in recovery from colon cancer and one can have a normal cancer-free life