What is Constipation?
• Constipation is a condition of the digestive
system. The sufferer has hard feces that
are difficult to expel. In most cases, this
occurs because the colon has absorbed
too much of the water from the food that is
in the colon.
• The sufferer is too physically
inactive. This is especially the
case if the person is elderly
• The sufferer's diet is lacking in
adequate quantities of fiber
• Not drinking enough water
• Not going to the toilet when you
feel the urge to
What is the treatment for
• It is important to remember that the
necessity to defecate at least once a day
is a myth. Constipation happens when you
want to go but are unable to evacuate the
feces. In the majority of cases,
constipation resolves itself without any
treatment or risk to health.
Constipation in Older Adults
• Multiple medications may decrease peristalsis,
cause water loss and interfere with intestinal
• Limited mobility or exercise
• Low intake of dietary fiber
• Difficulty with chewing, swallowing or ingesting
• Daily stool softeners suggested but regular
laxatives should be avoided.
• Caution: Loose watery stools may not be
diarrhea – could be severe constipation with
leakage of H2O around blockage.
– Assess for fecal impaction.
What is Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer is a common type of malignancy (cancer)
in which there is uncontrolled growth of the cells that line
the inside of the colon or rectum. Colon cancer is also
called colorectal cancer.
• The colon, also known as the large intestine, is the last
part of the digestive tract.
• The rectum is the very end of the large intestine that
opens at the anus.
What Causes Colon Cancer?
There are several causes for colorectal cancer
as well as factors that place certain individuals at
increased risk for the disease. There are known
genetic and environmental factors.
What Causes Colon Cancer?
People at risk for colorectal cancer:
• The biggest risk factor is age. Colon cancer is rare in
those under 40 years. The rate of colorectal cancer
detection begins to increase after age 40. Most
colorectal cancer is diagnosed in those over 60 years.
• Have a diet high in fat and low in fiber.
• Have history of benign growths, such as polyps, that
have been surgically removed.
• Have a prior history of colon or rectal cancer.
• Have disease or condition linked with increased risk.
Family History and the Role of
• You have a higher risk of developing
colorectal cancer if:
– One or more immediate family members were
diagnosed with colorectal, uterine, or stomach
– Immediate family members include:
How long does it take cancer to develop,
and what are your chances?
• In most people, colorectal cancers
develop slowly over a period of several
– 10 to 20 years
• Chances of developing colorectal cancer
sometime in your life:
– A man has a 1 in 17 chance.
– A woman has a 1 in 18 chance.
Why does it develop?
• Colorectal cancer usually begins as a non-
cancerous (or benign) polyp.
• A polyp
– is a growth inside the colon or rectum that is
– can be several types.
– is not always cancerous.