Understanding Colon Cancer

After skin cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer, Colon cancer is the fourth most common cancer type occurring in women across the globe. There are many types of colon cancer: Carcinoid Tumors, Lymphoma, Melanoma and Sarcomas. However, the most common of all the colon cancers is Colon Carcinoma.

A colon in the human body is a long, coiled tube shaped organ, which helps in removing water from the digested food. It is also called the large intestine or the large bowel having four sections: Ascending Colon, Transverse Colon, Descending Colon and Sigmoid Colon. Colon cancer is a type of cancer, which forms in the colon tissues. It is often referred to as colorectal cancer. Colon cancers usually are adenocarcinomas, which mean that they begin in cells releasing mucus and other type of fluids.

Who Are At Risk Of Having Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer is responsible for most of the deaths elated to cancer, but doctors say that an early diagnosis can reduce the risk. Immediate action can also lead to full cure of a patient. The risk of having colon cancer increases, if you:

1-Have cancer elsewhere in your body

2-Have a personal history of breast cancer

3-Have a family history of colon cancer

4-Have colorectal polyps, crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis

Apart from the above stated reasons, the risk of having colon cancer also depends on your diet. Doctors say that chances of colon cancer may increase, if you are having red meat and a high fat with low fibre diet. Some genetic syndromes may be also responsible in developing colon cancer.

Symptoms of Colon Cancer

There are several symptoms indicating the presence of colon cancer in your body. Some of them include blood in your stool, narrow stools, tenderness & pain in the lower abdomen, unexplained anaemia, sudden weight loss, constipation, diarrhoea, intestinal obstruction and changes in bowel habits.

Take Immediate Action against the Menace

If you feel that you are having any of the symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. There are many physical exams, which needs to be done on your belly area. There are also imaging tests that are extremely helpful in diagnosing colon cancers. Again, tests similar to sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy confirm the presence of colon cancer.

One more test of detecting colon cancer is the fecal occult blood test (FEBT). After detection of colon cancer, additional tests known as staging is done to check the exact area in which the colon cancer has spread.

Treatment of Colon Cancer

The treatment of colon cancer is mainly dependent on the stage in which it has been detected. The most common treatments for colon cancer are chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy. Chemotherapy medicines kill the colon cancer cells, radiation therapy destroys the cancerous tissue present and surgery may be done to remove the cancer cells.

If treated at an early stage, nearly 90% of patients suffering from colon cancer may survive for minimum of five years after diagnosis. And in cases where the colon cancer does not recur within a period of five years, the patient is considered to be fully cured.

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