Cancer

Understanding Colon Cancer – Causes and Warning Signs

January 24th, 2018
Understanding Colon Cancer – Causes and Warning Signs

In general, colon cancer refers to a cancer in the colon or rectum. The colon is a part of the large intestine in our body. There is an increased likelihood of the successful treatment of color cancer if found early. Even if it extends to nearly lymph nodes, the surgical option is found to be extremely effective in treating it.

In the most complexsituations — when the cancer has extended to the liver, lungs or other locations — treatment can help make surgery a feasible option for a large number of people , as well as extending and adding to one’s quality of life. Research is continually being conducted to learn more and give hope for people irrespective of the stage they are in.

Most of the colon cancers first appear as polyps, which are defined as irregular growths inside the colon or rectum that may later become cancerous if not eliminated.

Colon cancer generally affects men and women of all ethnic and racial groups, and is most commonly found in people of age 50 years or more.This disease is known to take the lives of more than 50,000 people every year. Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the world and the second leading cause of cancer death.

Symptoms of Colon Cancer

The diseases makes it onset by producing one or a few of symptoms. It is better to consult with a good doctor if you notice any of these symptoms.

  • A change in bowel habits – This may include diarrhea, constipation, change in the consistency of stool, narrower stools than usual
  • Continual abdominal discomfort – This can be indicated by gas, cramps, pain and bloating and improper bowel pass.
  • Rectal bleeding – Presence of blood in stool
  • Tiredness – Weakness can also be accompanied by nausea and vomiting

Read More Signs and Symptoms of Colon cancer here.

Causes of Colon Cancer

Most colorectal cancers emerge from adenomatous polyps. Such polyps are made up of excess numbers of both normal and irregular appearing cells in the glands sheltering the inner lining of the colon. Over time, these irregular growths expand and finally degenerate to become adenocarcinomas.

The exact cause is not yet known but it tends to have several risk factors

Polyps: - Colon cancer generallyoriginates from precancerous polyps that exist in the large intestine.

The most general types of polyps are:

Adenomas: These can look like the usual lining of the colon but appear abnormal under a microscope. They can become cancerous.

Hyperplastic polyps: Colon cancer hardly develops from hyperplastic polyps, as they are generally benign.

Some of these polyps may grow into malignant colon cancer over a period of time, if they are not eliminated during the early stages of treatment.

Genes: - Unrestrained cell growth can take place if there is genetic damage, or if changes to the DNA affect cell division. A genetic predisposition can be inborn from family members, but most colon cancers affects people without a family history.

Some people are born with specific genetic mutations that turn them more prone to develop cancer later in life. Often, an individual will have this genetic piece, but cancer will not evolve unless an environmental factor prompts it.

Traits, habits, and diet: - Age is a crucial risk factor for colon cancer. Almost 91 percent of those who receive a diagnosis are over 50 years old.

Colon cancer is more likely in people with sedentary lifestyles, those with obesity, and those who smoke tobacco. Since the colon is a portion of the digestive system, diet is a major factor. Diets that are deficient in fiber and high in fat, calories, red meat, alcohol, and processed meats have been associated to an increased risk of colon cancer.

Underlying conditions

Some conditions and treatments have been linked with an augmented risk of colon cancer.

These include:

  • Diabetes.
  • Acromegaly, a growth hormone disorder.
  • Radiation treatment for other cancers.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.

Warning signs

Some of the warning signs that should not be ignored in any case. They include:

  • Bleeding.
  • Iron-deficiency Anemia.
  • Abdominal Pain.

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