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Understanding Colorectal Cancer

colon-cancer-at-a-glance

Colorectal cancer is most common if there is a family history of it, colon polyps present and long bouts of ulcerative colitis without treatment. With that said, colon cancer can affect anyone. Sometimes all it takes for the cancer to occur is poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking and drinking and exposure to toxins that create damaging free radical cells that harm the DNA. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of the cancer can help with early detection, but sometimes there isn’t any, which is why colon screening is essential. Screening usually starts around the age of 50, but if there is a family history it may be best to start sooner.

What are some of the signs and symptoms of colon cancer?

  • Extreme Fatigue and Weakness
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Change in Stool Shape, Size and Color
  • Red or Dark Stools
  • Bleeding During Bowel Movements
  • Drastic Weight Loss
  • Suffering from Anemia
  • Constant Abdominal Pains
  • Headaches
  • Pain During Bowel Movements
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

How is the cancer detected?

Colorectal cancer is detected by doing a barium enema x-ray to locate any tumors, or through a colposcopy, which views the entire lining of the colon for cancerous growths. If any cancer is suspected, a biopsy will be done. After, surgery will be scheduled to remove the cancerous growths and a recommended treatment plan will be provided if one is necessary. Sometimes further treatment is only needed if the cancer has spread throughout other areas of the body. It all depends on the stage of cancer you have.

How many stages of colon cancer are there? 

There are four stages of colon cancer. The first two stages typically only require surgery to remove the cancerous parts of the colon. The last two stages usually require surgery plus chemotherapy or radiation. Therefore, catching colon cancer early is extremely important for saving lives. The last stages of colon cancer and more difficult to treat and eventually end in death since it has spread to other parts of the body that can be hard to treat.

Are there any preventative measures you can take for preventing colon cancer? 

Yes, there are preventative measures you can take for preventing colon cancer. Some include:

  • Eating a good balance diet
  • Exercising daily
  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Not smoking or drinking acholic beverages
  • Taking daily vitamins
  • Increasing your fiber intake
  • Getting colon cancer screening when recommended

Bottom Line 

When it comes to preventing colon cancer from taking your life, colon cancer screening is your best line of defense for catching and treating it early. If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of the cancer it is time to visit your doctor now for a checkup.

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