Everything You Need to Know About Colon Cancer


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Everything You Need to Know About Colon Cancer

  1. 1. ibssym pt o m sguide .o rg http://ibssympto msguide.o rg/everything-yo u-need-kno w-abo ut-co lo n-cancer/ Everything You Need to Know About Colon Cancer IBS Sympto ms Guide Introduction Cancers are among the most f eared diseases in the world. You simply don’t know when it’s going to strike. And when it does, the ef f ects can be very devastating. One of the most dreaded f orms of this disease is colon cancer. Probably the most dreaded of all colon problems, it can be potentially lethal if lef t unchecked. What causes this disease to emerge, who are the ones at risk of having it, how can people avoid it, and what is the best way towards a cure? All that and more will be answered in this article. What is cancer of the colon? T his f orm of cancer is specif ically located at the colon, also known as the large intestine. Together with rectal cancer, they are ref erred together as colorectal cancers. Just like any cancer, it is mainly caused by the development of tumors. In the colon and/or rectum, tumor development begins with the growth of benign clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. T hese clumps can potentially turn into malignant tumors. And once they do, that is exactly when the cancer starts its development. Stages of the development of colon cancer Colon cancer development is evaluated based on stages just like any type of cancer. T he higher the stage, the more advanced the progression of the tumor is. Stage I- Cancerous cells have started to grow into the superf icial lining of your colon or rectum. However, it hasn’t spread yet to other layers. Stage II- Cancerous cells have penetrated the colon walls. However, it hasn’t invaded your lymph nodes yet. Stage III- Cancerous cells have taken control of both your colon and lymph nodes. If lef t untreated, it can spread to other parts of your body. Stage IV- Multiple organs/systems, even those distant f rom the colon, are now af f ected by the cancer. The dif f erent causes of colon cancer In any type of disease, there is always a root cause f or it. Cancers f orm thru the f ormation of random tissue growths. T hey can turn malignant depending on circumstance. Once they achieve such a state, it can even spread to other parts of the body, which sometimes leads to death. T here are many f actors that cause the f ormation of colorectal cancer. Here is a list of some of them. Colon growths- As said earlier, polyps can potentially f orm in the surf ace of your colon. First beginning in the f orm of lesions and polyps, they have the potential to transf orm into malignant tissues. And once they do, they can potentially trigger cancer, among other bowel problems.
  2. 2. Hereditary f actors- T here is the potential that genes calling f or the creation of cancerous cells can be inherited by of f spring. When these genes are inherited by the child, the potential of him/her having colon cancer later in lif e is increased. 2 hereditary syndromes are linked to colon cancer: f amilial adenomatous polyposis and hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer. Colon cancer symptoms Early detection is one of the most important steps in avoiding the devastating ef f ects of this f orm of cancer. T here are dif f erent symptoms associated with the emergence of colon carcinoma. Having an understanding of these signs can potentially be lif esaving. Sudden change in bowel habits- Malignant cells are known to alter one’s body f unctions. If you are suf f ering f rom chronic bowel problems, there is a potential that you might have (or at least developing) cancer. Blood- T he presence of blood is one of the most alarming colorectal cancer symptoms. If blood is present in your stool (whether it’s visible or occult) or if you are suf f ering f rom rectal bleeding, you must take action immediately and have yourself checked. Abdominal discomf ort- Pain in the abdominal area can be a telling sign. You might have bowel disorders if you have this f eeling that your bowels don’t completely empty. Abdominal cramps or gas buildup can also arise, leading to colon pain. Sudden weight loss- T his is a general symptom f or anyone who suf f ers f rom any type of cancer. T his symptom, combined with other symptoms mentioned above, can be a telling sign of the emergence of colon cancer. Who are at risk of having cancer of the colon? Particular people are at risk of developing cancer in the colon. Understanding various risk f actors can help in both avoidance and early detection. Old age- It was estimated that about 90 percent of all patients of this f orm of cancer are above 50 years old. While it can also occur with younger people, those who are above said age are at a higher risk. Personal history with colon polyps- T hose who previously had adenomatous polyps in the colon or rectum are at a higher risk of having cancer. Personal history of colon cancer- T hose who had a previous bout with this f orm of cancer are at a higher risk of having it again. T his is because relapse is not all that uncommon with all kinds of tumors. A f amily history of cancer in the colon- As said earlier, risk f actors involving this cancer can be inherited. Particular inheritable syndromes can signif icantly increase one’s risks of having this disease. Physical conditioning- T hose who are suf f ering f rom obesity are more likely to develop bowel problems such as this one. A general lack of physical activity can signif icantly increase these risks. Lif estyle- T hose who have a diet rich in f at and low in dietary f ibers are at a higher risk of having gastrointestinal cancers. In addition to this, both smoking and alcohol can elevate these risks. Radiation exposure- Exposure to radiation, usually acquired as an occupational hazard or as treatment f or other cancers, can lead to cancers such as this. T his is because radiation has the ability to cause rapid cell mutations, which characterizes the f ormation of tumors.
  3. 3. Setting a medical appointment T he key to prevent the worsening of colon cancer is working closely with your doctor. Medical personnel that can be of great help include a gastroenterologist (GI tract specialist) and an oncologist (cancer specialist). Depending on your condition, they can ref er you to other medical experts such as radiologists and surgeons. You must disclose details about your condition to your doctors. Being as honest as possible can greatly help you during the treatment process. T he process of diagnosis is crucial to improve your chances of prevention and survival. Here are some of the things you can expect while being tested. Patient prof iling- T he doctor will ask some questions to determine your patient prof ile. Data ranging f rom f amily history to the presence of symptoms of colon cancer shall be asked. T hey’ll use the data you presented in evaluating your case. Blood testing- T his is a basic procedure f or just about any kind of condition. While there are no blood tests developed f or identif ying cancer, it’s used f or determining associated health problems. Colonoscopy- Using endoscopic methods, doctors will observe the inner condition of your colon. If they f ind anything suspicious, they’ll get tissue samples f rom your colon f or biopsy. T hese samples would then be tested f or cancer and other types of ailments. Imaging techniques- X-rays and CT scans are used to get an accurate picture of your colorectal area. Using these images, they’ll determine if there are any irregularities present. Treatments f or colon cancer Once a def initive diagnosis is made, one must proceed to treatment immediately to prevent the spreading of this disease. Here is a list of some of the most-used treatments f or controlling the progress of this cancer. Prescription drugs- T here are some drugs used to prevent the spreading of tumors in the colon. T hese are usually prescribed during the early stages of cancer development. Drugs such as Avastin, Erbitux, and Vectibix have actions targeted towards cancerous cells. Chemotherapy and Radiation therapy- T hese are 2 common techniques used in eliminating malignant tumors. While these treatments carry its own sets of risks, it’s seen as the best way to avert the advanced stages of cancer development. Surgical procedures- Surgery can be perf ormed in dif f erent stages of cancer development. For earlystage cancers, the removal of polyps, tumors, and malignant tissue suf f ices. However, if the cancer is on its advanced stages, partial or complete colectomy may be prescribed. Colostomy is also done if the colon or rectum is incapacitated. Alternative medicine- While there are no alternative treatments that can cure cancer, some of them can signif icantly help the patient to cope up with the ravages of this disease. Exercise and therapies can provide relief and reduce the distress associated with f ighting cancer. Preventing colorectal cancer Prevention is always better than cure. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent the emergence of this disease. Following these prevention techniques can go a long way in reducing the chances of having this cancer. Early screening- T hose who are at risk of colon cancer (ex: people above 50 years old) should undergo screening tests. Proper screening can lead to early detection. And with early detection, treatment can be administered even at the early stages of development.
  4. 4. Lif estyle modif ications- Some lif estyle changes do matter when it comes to prevention. Getting adequate physical activity and losing excess weight can go a long way. Healthy eating habits can also be a huge f actor too. Ending smoking and alcohol consumption can signif icantly improve your chances of colon cancer prevention. Welcome to everyone visiting my blog. I am Josephina and as a lot of other people I am very concerned about IBS and everything related to this syndrome. I have already gathered a lot of essential and usef ul inf o about IBS. So I f elt ready to share this to everyone and that is the purpose of this site. I hope that what you f ind here will help you or your relatives and f riends suf f ering f rom IBS to minimize discomf ort or even throw it of f completely.