Colon Cancer (Colorectal) and Symptoms
Colon cancer or colorectal cancer is known to be the third deadliest cancer globally. But early detection of malignancy in the colon is curable and can be treated.
We can stop the mortality and new cases to rise up by feeding ourselves with information. These research and gathered data can help you determine the next step.
Colon is our large intestine located at the lower part of our digestive system. Therefore, rectal is last 12 centimeter below the colon. When uncontrollable cancer cells increase its growth in the colon and rectal, it is called colorectal cancer.
Most common cases of colon cancer start as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Unfortunately, these polyps can also become cancerous. If they begin spreading and occupying healthy tissue this is called metastasis. This is a more serious stage of cancer. Polyps can be prevented from becoming malignant if regular checkup and healthy diet are observed. Screening test would be a great help to stop polyps from multiplying.
Colorectal Cancer Signs and Symptoms
Research shows that in early stage of colorectal cancer, signs or symptoms are minimal. As the disease progresses, the signs and symptoms become apparent.
There are some symptoms of colorectal cancer that can be mistaken from other infection or bacteria such us hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, or inflammatory bowel disease. “False alarm” you are cleared.
New symptoms will be felt by the patients, once the cancer spread in the new area. In most instances, liver is always affected.
There are two category of colorectal cancer. These are the symptoms.
Local Colorectal Symptoms:
It is called Local symptoms when it has a direct effect on the colon or rectum.
This includes the following:
- Changes in your bowel habit
- Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
- Feeling discomfort on your abdomen, bloated or cramps
- A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely
- Stools that are thinner than normal
Systematic Colorectal Symptoms:
Unlike local symptoms, systematic symptoms have wider territory. The signs affect your whole body.
This includes the following:
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea or vomiting
- Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Weakness or fatigue
Symptoms may differ because of cancer’s size and its location. Testing or screening prior to colon cancer’s symptoms is said to be easier to treat.
- Overweight – Men and women who are obese have the higher chance of getting colon or colorectal cancer. But studies show that it has higher tendency for men.
- Age – Age 45 and above has the higher risk of getting colorectal cancer. Although anyone can also acquire it on younger years.
- History of Inflammatory Bowel Disease- There is an increase of risk for people who had IBD or including ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
- History of Colorectal Cancer or Polyps – A person who had a colorectal cancer before has a higher risk to get the cancerous cells again. Even if the cancer is removed, cancer cells can develop and grow to other areas.
If the patient has an adenomas polyp before, the polyps may grow into a cancerous cell. This is true especially to large polyps.
- Type2 Diabetes – Colorectal cancer and Type 2 diabetes have the same risk factor such as lak of physical activity and being overweight. This type of diabetes in not insulin dependent. It said the increase is high on rectal cancer.
- Family History of Cancer – Studies show that most of the people who have colorectal cancer do not have an existing family history of cancer or colorectal cancer. Although the reason for this matter is not clear, 1 in 5 colorectal cases get it because of inherited genes. According to some writings share environmental factor and family history may increase the possibility of getting the disease.
- Inherited Syndrome – There are two inherited syndromes connected with colorectal cancer. These are familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). Rarer syndromes like Lynch Syndrome, Turcot Syndrome and Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome may also increase the chance of having colorectal cancer.
- Racial and Ethnic Background – In the US, the highest rate of colorectal incidence and mortality are African American. Jews (Ashkenazi) are also included on the list. There is still no scientific explanation for this.
- Eating habits (diet) – People who tend to eat red meat more often may increase colorectal risks.
Cooking meats at a very high temperature like frying, grilling, broiling create chemicals that may contribute to an increase risk.
- No Physical Activity – Like other kind of cancer, colorectal cancer has an increased risk to people who has sedentary lifestyle.
- Smoking – Smoking is also the popular cause of lung cancer, and apparently colorectal cancer. The cancer causing substance of cigarettes may be swallowed so it potentially increases the risk of having colorectal cancer.
- Excessive Alcohol Drinking – Too much in everything or anything is an abused. Excessive drinking of alcohol has a negative effect to our bodies. For men who are drinking a limit of 2 drinks a day and 1 drink for women have many health benefits.