Colon cancer impacts the large intestine and in most cases, it starts as a clump of noncancerous cells named adenomatous polyps which develop into cancerous cells over time. Polyps are manifested through a few symptoms, thus the medical professionals suggest that you do regular colon screens in order to identify and remove it. It is very important to detect it in earlier stages. If you are educated more about this condition you will have greater chances of finding cancer in early stages.
What are the causes?
The causes are not clearly understood, but cancer mainly forms when the healthy cells in the colon are damaged. The healthy cells with their division keep the body function properly. When the cancerous cells form, they go on with their division even though the body has no need of them, thus the buildup leads to tumor creation.
What are the risk factors?
There are risk factors which can increase the likeness of one person to get cancer at some point in their lives. These gene mutations can increase the chances of colon cancer.
- HNPCC or hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer – people with this condition are more susceptible to cancer and are likely to develop colon cancer before the age of 50.
- Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) – this is a rare condition which causes people develop many polyps along the colon lining. If they are not treated, then people will develop cancer before they reach the age of 40.
- Other risk factors are smoking, diabetes, obesity, low-fiber and high-fat diet, intestinal problems, being African-American, being above the age of 50, having a family history of colon cancer, radiation therapy, and alcohol consumption.
What are the symptoms?
The worst thing about cancer is that it is not always manifested through some symptoms, but there are some things to watch. The common signs are:
- Abdominal bloating;
- Abdomen pain;
- Dark blood in the tool;
- Bowel movement changes;
- Pelvic pain (this is usually associated with late-stage cancer);
- Appetite loss;
- Unexplained weight loss.
How to treat it?
The treatment usually depends on the size and location of the tumor and also upon the general health of the patient. The most common treatment involves a surgery, but chemotherapy can be another option in order to prolong the person’s life or reduce the occurrence of those who are at high risks.
In case you notice changes in your health you will have to immediately call your doctor.