Colon Cancer which is also called Colorectal cancer. The term used for cancer that starts in either the colon or the rectum. Most colorectal cancers start as a polyp, means growth that starts in the inner lining of the colon or rectum. This finally grows toward the center. Only certain types of polyps can turn to cancer.
Diet of a person which is high in fat are believed to predispose people to colorectal cancer. Most of the colorectal cancers develop in colorectal polyps. So early detection and removing benign (but precancerous) colorectal polyps can prevent colorectal cancer. Chronic ulcerative colitis causes inflammation of the inner lining of the colon and finally leads to colon cancer. A person’s genetic background is also a factor for risk of developing colon cancer.
Colon Cancer Symptoms
It shows numerous and nonspecific symptoms. Most common symptoms includes fatigue, weakness, narrow stools, diarrhea or constipation, shortness of breath, change in bowel habits, red or dark blood in stool, weight loss, abdominal pain, cramps or bloating.
Colon Cancer suspected patients should go for either a lower GI series (barium enema X-ray) or colonoscopy. This is most frequently performed to confirm the diagnosis and locate the tumor. As the barium outlines the large intestines on the X-rays, dark shadows on the X-rays appear indicated Tumors and other abnormalities.
Colon Cancer Prevention
Early detection and removal of precancerous colorectal polyps is the first step of prevention. Digital rectal examination and stool occult blood testing recommended that all individuals over the age of 40. In men the prostate gland can be examined at the same time. Beginning at age 50, Flexible sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy screening test is recommended every 3 to 5 years. Genetic counseling and testing offered for Families with multiple members having colon cancers. Change your eating habits by reducing fat intake and increasing fiber (roughage) in their diet.
The first option in treatment is Surgery. In a very early stage, If your cancer is small, localized in a polyp – remove it completely during a colonoscopy. For large one endoscopic mucosal resection needed.
Surgery is the most common initial treatment for invasive cancer. The tumor, margin of the surrounding healthy intestine and adjacent lymph nodes are removed. Then reconnects the healthy sections of the bowel. There will be a permanent or temporary colostomy (artificial opening seen outside to pass bowel contents) as per situation.
In case of chemotherapy it may be used before surgery to shrink the cancer before an operation. Most commonly offered after surgery if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. Radiation therapy uses powerful energy sources to shrink large tumors before an operation. Radiation therapy, usually combined with chemotherapy, may be used after surgery.