Colon cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the rectum or large intestine (colon). Both these organs are present in the lower portion of your digestive system.
Colon cancer usually affects older adults, but it can happen at any age. Cancer starts as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called polyps that form on the inside of the colon. Over time some of these polyps can transform into colon cancers.
To prevent Colon Cancer, the doctor usually recommends regular screening tests. This helps in identifying and removing the polyps before they turn into cancer. If colon cancer develops, many treatments are now present to help control it.
Consult your doctor for diagnosis and follow their recommendations accordingly. Your doctor can come up with the most adequate treatment possible for you and can provide an estimate of your long-term outlook to you.
Symptoms of Colon Cancer
Following are the symptoms of colon cancer:
Changes in stool color
Changes in stool shape, such as narrowed stool
Blood in the stool
Bleeding from the rectum
Unexplained weight loss
If you notice any one of the symptoms for a long time, immediately consult your doctor for screening.
Cause of Colon Cancer
Researchers are still going on regarding the causes of colorectal cancer.
Precancerous growths: Polyps are formed when abnormal cells accumulate in the lining of the colon. However, if left untreated these polyps can turn cancerous.
Gene mutations: This is the result of a gene mutation that passes from parent to child. If colon cancer occurs in family members, then it increases your chances to experience it.
Diagnosis of Colon Cancer
Early diagnosis of colon cancer will save you and provides you the most decent chance to beat it.
Medical History: Your Doctor will enquire about your medical and family history. A rectal exam or physical exam can also be performed by pressing on your abdomen to determine the presence of lumps or polyps.
Blood testing: The Doctor will conduct some blood tests to get an idea of what is your cause for discomfort and symptoms.
Colonoscopy: The Doctor may conduct colonoscopy by looking inside your colon and rectum to check for anything unusual. The Doctor can also remove any tissue from abnormal areas for laboratory analysis.
X-ray:The doctor may order an X-ray using a radioactive contrast solution. This liquid is inserted into your bowels through the use of an enema. It helps in displaying the good quality of X-ray images of the lining of the colon.
CT scan: CT scan is used for a detailed image of your colon.
Treatment for Colon Cancer
Your doctor will determine a treatment plan for you depending on the variety of factors.
Surgery: If the Colon Cancer is in the early stages, the surgeon can remove cancerous polyps through surgery. There is an optimistic outlook for you if the polyp hasn’t attached to the wall of the bowels. However, if cancer has spread into your bowel walls, the surgeon may need to remove a portion of the colon or rectum, along with any neighboring lymph nodes. Depending on the factors, the surgeon could also reattach the remaining healthy portion of the colon to the rectum.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is used to kill cancer cells and control the growth of tumors. It is executed after surgery. Chemotherapy provides relief to patients who are in late-stage cancer.
Radiation: A powerful beam of energy is used to target and eliminate cancerous cells before and after surgery. Radiation therapy is provided alongside chemotherapy.
Prevention of Colon Cancer
Screening colon cancer: People who are at a significant risk of colon cancer should continuously screen themselves. Talk to your doctors regarding various screening options.
Lifestyle changes: Family history and age can’t change, but you can undoubtedly follow healthy lifestyle options.