What is the colon cancer and its Symptoms, treatments and prevention?
Cancers that start in the cells that line the inside of the colon (the longest part of the large intestine) and rectum (the last few inches of the large intestine before the anus) are called colorectal cancers. The colon and rectum form the large intestine (large bowel), which is the last portion of the digestive system. The digestive system, which is made up of the esophagus, stomach, and small and large intestines, extracts and processes nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) from food and helps pass waste material out of the body. The important news about colorectal cancer is that it usually starts from a pre-cancerous growth called a polyp and grows slowly, usually in a predictable way. It, therefore, can be preventable with screening, and when diagnosed at an early stage, it is often curable.
Age: Colon cancer most commonly appear in people over the age of fifty and the chance of developing colon cancer increases as age increases. Roughly 90% of people who develop colon cancer cases are older than 50 years. But, it can also appear at a younger age.
Diet: A diet high calorie, protein, and fat especially fat from animal sources, can extend the risk for colon cancer. Low-fiber diets can also increase the risk.
Diabetes: There is a high chance to occur colon cancer who have the diabetes.
Obesity: Overweight is another reason to have colon cancer.
Lack of exercise: If you are not an active person, there is a higher chance of having colon cancer.
Smoking and alcohol: Alcohol and smoking enhance having colon cancer.
Certain medical conditions: Long-term inflammation caused by inflammatory bowel disorders, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, may increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
Genetic: Inherited genetic is another reason to have colon cancer. Among colon cancer patients 5% inherited it via family. The main two inherited syndromes associated with colorectal cancers are familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC).
Symptoms of colon cancer may include
- Rectal bleeding
- Change in bowel habits (new-onset diarrhea or constipation)
- A feeling of incomplete evacuations, and others.
- Ventral pain,
- constipation, and weight loss may reflect a cancer
Many cancers are found in patients without symptoms through screening methods. Colonoscopy is very important because it detects cancers in individuals without any symptoms and often at an early curable stage.
Stages of Colon Cancer Once a cancer diagnosis is made, the cancer will be described by a stage and grade. Colorectal cancer staging describes the size of the tumor, how far it has grown into the colon or rectum wall, and whether the cancer has spread to lymph nodes or other places in the body past the place where it began to grow. Colorectal cancer has five stages:
Stage 0 – Cancer cells are established only in the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Typically, this is confined to the surface of a polyp (a growth that protrudes from a mucous membrane). It is also known as carcinoma in situ.
Stage 1 – Colon Cancer cells have distributed from the inner lining into the middle layers of the muscular wall of the colon or rectum.
Stage 2 – Cancer has spread to the outside surface of the colon or rectum, and may involve nearby tissues but not the lymph nodes.
Stage 3 – Cancer involves the nearby lymph nodes.
Stage 4 – Cancer has distributed to other distant parts of the body, such as the lungs or liver.
The stage of the cancer is very useful to determine the grade of cancer. To determine the grade of a tumor, a biopsy sample is examined under a microscope. Comparing the cancer cells structure and behavior with normal cells will help to determine the grade and it helps your doctor to estimate how quickly cancer may be growing. Colon cancer has three grades:
Low grade or Grade 1– It means that cancer is a slow-growing, also known as well-differentiated.
Moderate grade or Grade 2 – also called intermediate differentiation.
High grade or Grade 3 – In this grade cancer is faster growing and also known as poorly differentiated.
What are the Treatment Options?
Your treatment will depend on your cancer type, stage, grade and as well as general health. For colon cancer, your treatment may consist of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, biological therapy or surgery, working together with your healthcare team, you will decide what treatments will be best for you. You may be invited to take part in a clinical trial to test newer treatment options or combinations.
- Radiation Therapy