The earlier in life we know about colon cancer, say before turning 40 years of age, the better we are able to avoid the some of the factors that cause this sickness. The age of 40 is when an individual typically becomes prone to colon cancer development. In the United States, colon cancer is second only to lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. If detected early, this type of cancer is very treatable; however, only less than 40% of colon cancer cases are detected at its early stage.
What Is Colon Cancer?
The colon and rectum comprise some of the parts of the large intestine. Colon cancer always starts in the large intestines. It is also called colorectal cancer since the colon and rectum are the organs affected by the cancer.
What Causes Colon Cancer?
Medical researchers have still not identified the exact origins of colon cancer but this disease has a high probability to occur in people with high risk factors. The risk factors identified by colon cancer researchers include:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Genetic predisposition of developing colorectal polyps, colorectal cancer, Lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer) or familial adenomatous polyposis
- Lifestyle factors such as tobacco use, alcohol intake, obesity and overweight, high fat and low fiber diet, poor vegetable and low fruit intake
- Little physical activity
- Social Status, Race and Ethnicity
What Are Colon Cancer Symptoms?
Sometimes colon cancer does not manifest any symptoms at all and for some people, sadly, the symptoms may only reveal themselves when the disease has already developed to an advanced stage. Listed below are some of the symptoms caused by colon cancer:
- Modifications in Bowel Patterns – A person who may consistently excrete thinner stools and continues to experience bloating, gas, constipation and diarrhea may be suffering from colon cancer
- Pain in the Abdomen – The pain and swelling of the stomach happens when the intestine is obstructed by a tumor.
- Loss of Weight – The constant pain emanating pain from the tumor in the stomach can lead to appetite loss.
- Blood Seen in the Stool – The evidence of blood in the feces is one of the most typical symptoms of this cancer.
- Surgery – These include ovarian, adrenal or lung resection; liver resection and bowel resection.
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy – Monoclonal antibody therapy
- Gene therapy
The progression of colorectal cancer can depend on the family history, severity and the duration of the disease. Recent innovations in colorectal cancer screening have led to the improvement in the application as well as quality of testing tools.