Colon cancer or colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that originates in the rectum, a part of the large intestine which is also referred to as the colon. Colorectal cancer usually affects people who are older and are more prevalent in men than women.
Colorectal cancer starts off as small polyps or cysts that form on the walls of the rectum and can spread to other parts of the colon and to other organs such as the small intestine, the stomach, prostate, and other abdominal organs.
Colon cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in older men and women and there is a sharp rise of people getting affected by this type of cancer every year, even younger than the stipulated age for average colorectal cancer patients.
Colorectal Cancer Causes and Symptoms
Colorectal cancer is a combined term used for patients for whom cancer starts off in the rectal area of the colon. Cancer occurs due to genetic mutation in the DNA of healthy cells which start to become hyperactive and start proliferating rapidly, causing the formation of lumps and polyps in the walls of the rectum.
Slowly, it can overtake all the healthy cells and make them cancerous causing the death of the areas in the rectum and colon. The more dangerous part of colorectal cancer is the fact that it has close to no symptoms and symptoms can show up very late in the evolution of cancer in the body.
In the beginning, the polyps that form on the rectum are just masses of cells and upon early detection, they can be surgically removed or treated with radiation or medicines. This can curb the spread of cancerous cells and help in the prevention of colon and rectal cancer.
The problem is that most people do not come to know of the presence of polyps in the colon or rectum until it has metastasized and spread to the rest of the areas and has turned cancerous. This is why doctors recommend watching out for symptoms, especially for those who are at high risk for colon or colorectal cancer.
Symptoms of Colorectal cancer include:
- Changes in bowel movement and pattern
- Changes in the stool
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in stools
- Rapid loss of weight
- Chronic dysentery or constipation
- Sharp pains associated with gas
- A feeling of not being able to completely relieve one’s self
These are some of the symptoms of colorectal cancer. Most of the signs are very common and therefore can be neglected by patients. Persistent signs must be taken seriously and communicated to a specialist.
Colorectal Cancer Treatment
Colorectal Cancer Treatment includes a variety of procedures such as surgical removal of the polyps and cysts, followed up with radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy to control the spread of the cancerous cells in the body.
It is also followed up with the intake of medicines that help in providing immunity and recovery from cancer on a regular basis by strengthening the body. Some people are more prone to colorectal cancer than others.
People who are older than 50, patients with family history, patients with previous cancers, patients who were exposed to radiotherapy, patients with obesity and diabetes, etc must stay aware of the symptoms and get a colonoscopy done from time to time to be ahead of the risk of cancer.