Colon cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the large intestine (colon). It can also start in the rectum, the colon’s end. Most colorectal cancers are adenocarcinomas. This means they start in cells that release mucus and other fluids. Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in men and women in the United States.
Colorectal cancer usually begins as small, non-cancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Over time some of these polyps can become colon cancers. Polyps may be small and produce few, if any, symptoms. Symptoms produced by colon cancer include blood in the stool, a change in bowel habits, and stomach pain.
When colon cancer develops, it may grow through your colon or into nearby tissues. If it grows into nearby tissues, it can affect blood vessels and nerves. This can cause blockages that lead to bleeding or changes in bowel habits.
It can also cause pain or numbness in certain areas. In its early stages, colon cancer usually doesn’t cause any symptoms. That’s why regular screening tests are important for people at average risk for this disease.
Screening tests can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early when treatment works best. There are several types of screening tests available. Talk with your doctor about which is right for you and when you should start getting screened.
Symptoms of colon cancer
Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in men and women in the United States. Symptoms of colon cancer can include bleeding from the rectum and a change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation, weight loss, and fatigue.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor to determine the cause. While colon cancer is a serious disease, it is also highly treatable if detected early. So, if you are experiencing any symptoms that are out of the ordinary, don’t delay seeking medical attention.
Causes of colon cancer
The causes of colon cancer are numerous and varied. However, several risk factors have been identified as being particularly linked to the development of this disease. One of the most well-known risk factors is a family history of colon cancer. Other risk factors include:
- Being over the age of 50.
- Being African American.
- Having a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease.
- Having certain genetic syndromes.
Additionally, lifestyle choices such as smoking and eating a diet high in processed meats and low in fruits and vegetables can also increase one’s risk of developing colon cancer. While there is no sure way to prevent colon cancer, understanding the causes can help individuals be more aware of their risks and take steps to lower their chances of developing this disease.
How to reduce your risk of developing colon cancer
You can do several things to reduce your risk of colon cancer:
- You should make sure to get regular screenings. A Colonoscopy is the best way to detect colon cancer, and it can also help to prevent it by identifying and removing precancerous polyps.
- It would help if you ate a healthy diet that is high in fiber and low in fat. This means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- It would be best if you exercised regularly. Exercise helps to reduce inflammation and keeps your digestive system working properly.
- Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption would be best.
If you do all of these things, you will significantly reduce your risk of developing colon cancer.
Treatment options for colon cancer
Colon cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the large intestine (colon). It is the third most common type of cancer in men and women in the United States. There are several treatments for colon cancer, depending on the stage of the disease. The treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy.
Surgery is the most common treatment for colon cancer. The type of surgery depends on the stage of the disease. Surgery may involve removing only a part of the colon for early-stage disease. Surgery may involve removing the entire colon and rectum for more advanced diseases. Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells.
It is usually given with chemotherapy to increase its effectiveness. Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Targeted therapy is a newer treatment that uses drugs or other substances to target specific genes or proteins involved in cancer cell growth. Clinical trials are ongoing to develop new treatments for colon cancer.
How to cope with a diagnosis of colon cancer
A diagnosis of colon cancer can be a shock. It is important to remember that you are not alone and that many people cope with this diagnosis every day. Here are some tips on how to cope with a diagnosis of colon cancer:\
-Talk to your doctor: Your doctor can provide information about your specific situation and treatment options. They can also help to answer any questions you may have.
-Join a support group: Many online and in-person support groups are available for people coping with colon cancer. This can be a great way to connect with others who understand what you are going through.
-Stay positive: A positive attitude can go a long way toward helping you cope with cancer. Focus on the important things and find ways to enjoy your life.
It is important to be proactive about your health and get regular screenings, especially if you are over 50 or have a family history of colon cancer. If you discover that you have colon cancer, know that treatments and support groups are available to help you cope with your diagnosis. You are not alone. Take control of your health today and see what you can do to prevent colon cancer.