The colon is divided into four sections: ascending, descending, transverse, and sigmoid. Its main job is to absorb water and salts from meals in the upper digestive system. The rectum is the last portion of the digestive system and stores feces.
The most frequent digestive cancer is large intestine cancer. Colon cancer usually begins as a benign polyp that grows into a malignant tumor over time. Colorectal cancer affects the rectal region (colon’s end). Only 5-10% of these polyps became cancerous.
This is frequent cancer. It has become more common in recent years. Colon cancer is now the third most frequent malignancy in men and women. However, it is a benign tumor with a high cure rate when detected early.
Symptoms of Colon Cancer
When colon cancer is still in its early stages, it is unlikely that any symptoms will be present whatsoever. As the disorder worsens, signs of colon cancer may manifest themselves, and they might include:
- Loss of weight
- Gas, stomach discomfort, or cramps on a regular basis
- Blood in the stool or from the rectum is a medical emergency.
- Constipation or diarrhea are two different things.
- Bowel discharge that is not complete.
An increased risk of colorectal cancer is a risk factor. Risk factors for colon cancer include:
- Colorectal cancer is most common in those aged 65-74.
- The median diagnostic age is 67.
- Among all racial groupings, African Americans have the highest risk of colon cancer.
- Colon, rectal, or polyp cancer in the family
- IBD (Crohn’s disease or chronic ulcerative colitis)
- Colorectal cancer or polyps history
Some genetic mutations are inherited and raise cancer risk. Genetic diseases including HNPCC (Lynch syndrome) and FAP (Familial Adenomatous Polyposis) might increase your risk of colon cancer.
We provide sophisticated genetic testing and counseling for individuals who are worried about hereditary familial disorders that cause colorectal cancer in order to better understand their risk.
Colorectal cancer risk can be increased by a number of lifestyle factors, including:
- Exercising too little
- There is an increased risk of colon cancer in people who consume a lot of red and processed meats and high-heat-cooked meats.
- Lifestyles of inactivity
- Smoking a cigarette is illegal.
- Too much alcohol consumption
Colon Cancer Causes
Like any other disease, the specific causes of colon cancer are unknown. But the medical community has determined its spread. The body’s systems require constant cell growth and division. However, for unexplained reasons, this activity occurs in both healthy and injured cells. This is how cancer cells grow and spread.
Apart from environmental factors, colon cancer may be inherited, which is why those with a family history of the illness should be screened regularly even if they show no symptoms. Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). The FAP kind is more problematic since it causes hundreds of polyps, any of which might become malignant before the age of 40.
Colon cancer prevention
Although there is no 100% effective technique to prevent colon cancer, it is feasible to take several steps to lower your risk, including the following:
- Constipation should be avoided.
- Reduce your alcohol intake and stay away from smoke.
- As you grow older, it is important to have frequent checks.
- Pay close attention to how your bowel motions are going.
- Get some physical activity on a regular basis.
- Consumption of a diet that is high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables
Because the specific causes of colon cancer have not yet been identified, there is currently no method to prevent it from occurring. You may, however, lower your chances of developing this kind of cancer by adopting a few easy lifestyle modifications. These are some examples:
- Increase your intake of fruits, whole grains, and veggies.
- Drinking alcohol should be avoided or limited.
- Smoking should be avoided.
- Regular physical activity is recommended.
- Keep your weight at a healthy level.
It has been speculated that excessive amounts of toxins in the body may potentially contribute to the development of cancer. So antioxidants can be quite effective in preventing the development of cancer, whether it is cancer of the colon or cancer of any other region of the body.
How is colon cancer diagnosed?
In the event that colon cancer is discovered while there are no symptoms, you have a better chance of outgrowing this type of tumor, which has a high cure rate.
After 5 years of being diagnosed early, according to the AECC, patients had a 64 percent chance of surviving this condition, which is greater than the European Union average of 57 percent.
The diagnosis is made on the basis of a combination of a number of tests, including:
Stool occult blood test: It is used to determine whether or not there is blood present that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Physical examination: It is necessary to undertake a rectal examination to rule out the existence of physical anomalies such as tumors or discomfort in the lower rectum.
Barium enema with double contrast: This is a sort of x-ray that is focused on the colon and rectum, and it is performed under local anesthesia.
Colonoscopy: It is used to examine the inside of the digestive tract with a tube that is placed into the rectum, as well as to obtain samples of tissue or suspected lesions (biopsy), which are then analyzed once they have been taken.
Point of View
The American Cancer Society (ACS) calculates a person’s estimated likelihood of surviving based on a 5-year survival rate.
In the case of the colon or rectal cancer that has not progressed outside the colon or rectum, a person has a 90 percent chance of surviving for 5 years after diagnosis as a person who does not have cancer.
It is possible to have a 5-year survival rate of only 71 percent if the disease has spread to adjacent tissues and lymph nodes. If the disease spreads to other parts of the body, the mortality rate reduces to 14 percent.
Detection and treatment of colon cancer as soon as it is discovered are the most effective approaches to improve the outlook for a person who has the disease.