Colons are the largest part of the large intestine. The colon or the large intestine, is where the body draws out water and salt from the solid waste. Therefore, a cancer of the colon or rectum, located at the digestive tract's lower end is known as colon cancer.
Symptoms of Colon Cancer
Colon cancer often causes no symptoms in the earliest stages, however symptoms may become more noticeable as the disease progresses. If people do have symptoms of colon cancer in the early stages, they may include:
- Blood in the stool
- Frequent bathroom visits
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
Additionally, menstruating women have anemia from colon cancer. They may have irregular menstrual cycles along with experiencing the same symptoms as listed above.
Causes of Colon Cancer
Cancer can develop when cells grow and divide without control. Normally these cells follow an orderly process of growth, division, and death. However, they do not die at the normal point in their life cycle in case of colon cancers. According to the ACS, researchers are unsure of the exact cause of colon cancer, but certain factors may increase the likelihood of the cancer to develop.
Cancer occurs due to the changes in DNA within cells. Genes called oncogenes help cells stay alive, grow, and divide in the body. Additionally, tumor suppressor genes help regulate cell division and cell death. Changes to DNA tend to affect oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, which results in multiple gene changes that may lead to the severity of a colon cancer.
Cancerous cells may spread from malignant tumors to other parts of the body through the channel of blood and lymph systems. These cancer cells can grow and invade the healthy tissue nearby and spread throughout the body. The result is a more serious and unfortunately a less treatable condition.
Risk Factor of Colon Cancer
The risk factors of colon cancer include:
- Hyperplastic polyps
- Genetic damage
- Other cancers, such as breast, ovarian, or endometrial
Treatment of Colon Cancer
Colon cancers are differentiated on the basis of four stages. The treatment will primarily depend on the type and stage of colon cancer. In addition, the doctor will consider a person’s age, overall health, and certain other characteristics while deciding which is the most suitable treatment option. The aim of treatment will be to significantly remove the cancer, prevent it from spreading through the body and reduce any uncomfortable symptoms. The doctor will choose a treatment while will involve either from the following:
- Radiation therapy
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