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Understanding Colon Cancer

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Image is from Health Essentials From Cleveland Clinic

Colon cancer is synonymous with the cancer of the large intestines, which is the lower region the digestive system. In the United States, over twelve thousand people are diagnosed with this form of cancer every year. The American Cancer Society released this data. Usually, the new cases of colon cancer start with small cell clumps then developing into dangerous cancer cells over time.

How does cancer come about?

Generally, cancer comes about when healthy body cells start to fight other cells within the body. Before the actual cancer cells have begun developing, you will often not notice any symptoms. For this reason, it is critical to get an early screening of the cancer cells as it is the only surest way of detecting the colon cancer and acting on it appropriately to terminate its growth and development.

What are the common signs and symptoms of colon cancer?

Cancer has a plethora of signs and symptoms which include:

  • Blood in stools
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Bloating and abdominal pain
  • Recurring cramping
  • Gas

While blood in stool can be indicative of cancer, it can also indicate some conditions such as hemorrhoids in the anal area. You should immediately visit a health center the moment you notice recurring blood in your stool.

Risk factors

There is a myriad of risk factors which may significantly increase your risk of being ill with colon cancer. They include

  • Age (fifty years or older are more predisposed)
  • A family history of colon cancer
  • Long-standing inflammatory infections of the colon

As well, colon cancer has been linked to dieting that has little fiber but high fat content as well as calories. In as much as scientists have not agreed on the effect of junks in relationship to cancer, it is general knowledge that junks have a lot of unhealthy fats which has been shown to affect a patient’s health negatively.

Couch potatoes stand a higher risk of getting colon cancer. As well, obesity, smoking, and consumption of large amounts of alcohol are all predisposing factors of colon cancer. It is, nevertheless, imperative to note that these pieces only increase the risk of getting cancer significantly and does not in any way mean that whoever smokes will get colon cancer.

Treatment of colon cancer

The standard treatment for cancer is surgery in all the stages of the colon cancer. There are three types of surgery which specialist can opt for to remove cancer. They include:

  • Local excision- this is mainly for cancer that is still in the early stages. The doctor will insert a tube into your rectum then push it through to the colon. He then cuts the cancerous section of the colon
  • Resection- doctors often opt for this method when cancer has grown significantly large. The doctor will make a careful incision into the abdomen and get rid of the affected part of the colon. As well, they will remove small sections of healthy tissues that surround the part of the bowel which is diseased.
  • Resection and colostomy- sometimes, the surgeon may find it difficult to sew the ends of the colon after the surgery together. In that instance, a whole will be made in the abdomen, and one end of the colon will be brought towards this hole. The patient will need to wear a bag over the opening to collect the waste being expelled from the colon. This is commonly referred to as colostomy.
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