Colon Cancer Treatment, Symptoms, Causes and Prevention

colonic polyps

What is colon cancer

Colon cancer is a disease that develops because the lining of the colon contained in an existing polyp evolves. It has different reasons to become a malignant tumor. Malignant cells are normally located in the intermediate and longest portion of the large intestine.

“This type of cancer is one of the most common worldwide. It is also one of the easiest to diagnose. Furthermore, cure rates are high if detected early and take a long time to develop.”

The colon, along with the rectum is the place where feces are stored before being expelled outside through the anus. By taking care of this work, it accumulates waste substances, making it a favorable place for the appearance of cancer.

That is why it is important to reduce the accumulation time to a minimum by adopting a balanced diet that facilitates adequate intestinal transit, avoiding constipation.

Colon cancer can grow in three ways:

1. Local growth

In this case, the tumor deeply invades all the layers of the wall of the digestive tract. First, the malignant tumor grows from the mucosa, expands through the serosa, and reaches the muscle layers. As cancer passes the wall of the intestine, it can spread to all organs.

2. Lymphatic spread

When the tumor deepens in the wall of the intestine. It can reach the organs using the network of lymphatic vessels that allow access to multiple lymph node regions. One of the characteristics of this diffusion is that it is carried out in an orderly manner, reaching the nearby nodes first until reaching the most distant ones.

3. Hematogenous spread

Here the tumor’s and uses the bloodstream to spread cancer cells to the liver, lungs, bones, and brain, mainly.

Incidence

According to data from December 2014 from the Spanish Association Against Cancer, Spain colon cancer is the third most frequent cancer in men, behind lung and prostate cancer. The second in women, behind the breast. In general terms, colorectal cancer has the highest incidence, 15 percent. Furthermore, according to the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM), colon cancer has an incidence of 32,240 people per year in Spain and is responsible for 14,700 deaths.

What Causes of Colon Cancer?

The main causes of colon cancer are:

Age: Most cases of colon cancer are located in people between 65 and 75 years, although there may be cases that manifest between 35 and 40 years. If they are diagnosed before that age, it is usually because the patient has a genetic predisposition to suffer this pathology.

Diet: Colon cancer occurs to be associated with diets high in fat and low in fiber. In this regard, numerous analysis is currently underway.

Heredity: Genetics plays an important role in colon cancer since there is a possibility that it will be transmitted hereditary and predispose the person to suffer the disease. However, this disease can be detected and allow cancer to be treated early.

Medical history: It has been shown that those who have a greater predisposition to suffer from this disease are people who have or have had polyps (benign growth) of the colon or rectum, ulcerative colitis (inflammatory bowel disease), cancer of the breast, uterus or ovaries. 1st or 2nd-degree relatives who have also had colon cancer.

Lifestyle: Certain factors depend on lifestyle and that predispose to the appearance of colon cancer, such as obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and smoking.

What are the Symptoms of Colon Cancer?

Colorectal cancer has a long evolution. Its symptoms can vary depending on the location of the tumor in the large intestine. The most frequent complaints appear in the advanced phase of the disease.

However, these symptoms are not exclusive to colon cancer. It can occur in other pathologies such as hemorrhoids or certain digestive disorders. Specialists recommend going to the doctor as soon as they appear to facilitate the diagnosis being made properly.

The most common Symptoms of Colon Cancer are:

Changes in bowel rhythm

The person who has colon cancer may, in some cases, have diarrhea and, in others, constipation. The second option is common in those people who had a normal intestinal rhythm before the disease.

However, the most frequent option is for the patient to suffer periods of constipation combined with periods in which he suffers from diarrhea.

Blood in the stool

The most general symptom of colon cancer is that the patient has blood in the stool. The color of the blood can be red or black. The presence of red blood occurs mainly when the person presents tumors of the most distal part of the colon and rectum.

In the case of black blood, this color appears because the blood is digested and comes from closer sections of the colon, giving rise to black bundles known as melena. If this symptom is not diagnosed early and the patient does not receive adequate treatment, it may worsen. It lead to the appearance of anemia.

In these cases, the patient may suffer dizziness, tiredness. The patients have the sensation of being short of breath, among other symptoms.

The patient can detect that his stools change in size and are narrower. This occurs because the intestine is narrowing.

If the tumors are based in the distal part of the colon. The patient may also have the feeling that the deposition is not complete and that the evacuation is incomplete.

Abdominal pain or discomfort

Abdominal pain and discomfort are usually very common. This is because the tumor partially obstructs the intestinal tube, causing pain and a colic-like condition.

In some cases, the closure of the tube can be completed and an intestinal obstruction occurs. In these situations, the patient must receive urgent surgical medical attention.

“Weight loss without apparent cause, loss of appetite and constant tiredness”

Like other stomach-related illnesses, colon cancer, especially when it is in an advanced stage, has these symptoms.