Important Things you Should Know about Colon Cancer
Colon cancer occurs because of a tumorous growth in the large intestine or colon where the body extracts salt and water from solid wastes. This cancer is one of the top causes of cancer-related fatalities. Fortunately, advances in diagnosis, screening and treatment have made it possible for many patients to survive. Read on to understand more about colon cancer:
Signs and Symptoms of Colon Cancer
In the earliest stages of colon cancer, sufferers will usually not notice any signs. However, symptoms are likely to develop as the cancer advances. Patients may experience constipation or diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal pains, bloating, cramps, fatigue, weakness and more. There will be more symptoms to show once cancer spreads to other areas of the body.
Causes of Colon Cancer
The cells in the body normally follow a process of growth, division and death. But, cancer occurs if these cells divide aggressively, without dying. The majority of colon cancer starts from noncancerous tumors which form on the large intestine’s inner walls. Cancer cells easily spread to other parts through the blood or lymph systems. They can grow and invade healthy tissues.
Available Treatments for Colon Cancer
Treating colon cancer will depend on the kind and stage of the cancer as well as the patient’s health status, age and other characteristics. Most treatment options for this type of cancer include the following:
- Surgery. This procedure is carried out to eliminate part orthe entire colon. A Colon Cancer Specialist will remove the cancer-infected part of the colon and the surrounding areas. Also, the procedure may also be done to remove the nearby lymph nodes. Depending on the procedure’s extent, the colon may be attached to a stoma or reattached to the rectum.
- Chemotherapy. This procedure is aimed at administering chemicals which interfere with the cell division process by damaging the DNA or protein to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy targets cells that are rapidly dividing, including healthy cells. In general, the treatment is used for treating cancer which has spread as the medication travels through the entire body.
- Radiation. In this procedure, high-energy gamma-rays are being focused on the cancer cells to damage and kill them. This treatment option is usually ideal for cancer in its later stage.
Colon Cancer Prevention
While treatment options are available for colon cancer, having this chronic disease is a serious ordeal. You can only protect yourself from developing this cancer if you work on maintaining a healthy weight, reducing your intake of red meat and saturated fat, as well as consuming lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables.