Colon cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, especially in people over the age of 50. The most common type of this disease in Turkey is one of the top 5 cancers, the higher the incidence in later years, though we can state that in every age. It is possible to completely cure cancer that occurs in the colon part of the large intestine thanks to early diagnosis. However, if early diagnosis is not possible, cancer can spread to many tissues or organs of the body, from the stomach to the lymph nodes.
The success rate of treatment in this type of cancer is very closely related to the stage of the disease. Therefore, the symptoms of this cancer, which is seen in 1 out of every 20 people throughout their life, should be known by everyone. Of course, we will touch on what are the risk factors in cancer, how the treatment is carried out or what should be considered to prevent cancer. But first, let’s review the symptoms of colon cancer together.
What Are the Symptoms of Colon Cancer?
In general, we should mention that colon cancer symptoms are very closely related to defecation. Of course, not all symptoms may be observed in every patient. However, it should be noted that the following symptoms are generally seen in many patients:
- Having a feeling that the intestines are not completely emptied after defecation
- Having trouble defecating
- Pain during defecating
- Losing weight quickly
- Throwing up
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Thinning of stools that are always normal in thickness
- Blood coming from the anus
- Blood in stool
- Having secretion similar to egg white in stool
These symptoms are very common among patients, and many patients can be diagnosed when they consult a doctor for these complaints. In advanced cases, along with the above symptoms, swelling and pain in the abdominal area also develop.
It is necessary to underline an important detail in this regard. Symptoms of cancer involving the right side of the intestine and cancer affecting the left side may change. The left side of the large intestine is thinner. For this reason, the symptoms can appear more clearly in cancer involving this area. However, since the cancer on the right side takes longer to show symptoms, unfortunately, it may take longer to be diagnosed. For this reason, it is very important for early diagnosis to be suspected of cancer in cases such as unidentified weight loss or iron deficiency anemia.
Colon Cancer Risk Factors
Patients wonder about the answer to the question of why colon cancer causes. Although the cause of cancer has not been determined yet, some risk factors can be mentioned. It should be noted that many factors can be a triggering factor for the occurrence of this cancer. Accordingly, we can list the risk factors as follows:
Studies have revealed that there is a link between the age factor and this type of cancer. The age of contracting cancer in both men and women is between 50 and 60.
Genetic factors are also an important factor in colon cancer. For this reason, those who have this cancer in their family should find out at what age that person got cancer. He should go to regular check-ups, starting 10 years before he reaches that age. In this way, early diagnosis can be made and it will be possible to get rid of cancer with a successful treatment.
The most common answer to the question of what is a polyp may be that the layer covering the inside of the large intestine grows abnormally and makes its output. Polyp are benign tumors, but they also have the risk of transforming into cancer over time. For this reason, it is very important to have regular check-ups in the presence of polyps.
A change in the body’s HNPCC gene is one of the causes of colon cancer. Therefore, genetic disorders are also among the risk factors.
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Inflammation in the intestine can also trigger colon cancer. These diseases are one of the risk factors of this cancer.
The use of alcohol and tobacco products, consumption of foods low in fiber or maintaining a sedentary lifestyle are also causes of colon cancer, such as many cancers. At the same time, diabetes and obesity can be considered in this context. Lifestyle is also effective in most cancer types.
How Is Colon Cancer Diagnosed?
Nowadays, we can say that the diagnosis of colon cancer is easier with the help of endoscopic methods. Regular screening is required for early diagnosis. Before the diagnosis is made, the patient’s complaints are listened to and a physical examination is performed. At the same time, some examinations will be required. We can give the following examples of these examinations:
Occult Blood Analysis in Stool
A small amount of stool sample is taken from the patient and examined in the laboratory to determine whether there is blood in the stool.
These examinations can be listed as computed tomography and double contrast colon radiography.
Complete blood count tests of the patient must be done. At the same time, some biochemical tests are needed.
Examinations such as rectoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy also help to make a diagnosis. At the same time, if there is a lesion, the piece is taken and sent for pathological examination.
If this cancer is present in the patient’s family, it is recommended to have a colonoscopy every 5 years. It should be noted that for some patients, this period may occur every 2 to 3 years. At the same time, it is very important that individuals over the age of 50 should be checked regularly for early diagnosis of the cancer in question.
How Is Colon Cancer Treatment Done?
First of all, it should be noted that surgical intervention may not necessarily be required if existing polyps are detected in stages before colon cancer is diagnosed. In this case, the patient can be followed up closely. However, colonoscopy may also be used to remove polyps before they turn into cancer. Surgical intervention becomes mandatory if colon cancer is detected and diagnosed at an advanced stage.
With the surgery performed, the tissue in which the tumor is present must be removed, that is, evacuated from the body. Sometimes colon cancer can progress to different tissues or organs. In such cases, treatment must be carried out with chemotherapy. If the cancer has spread too much, the primary goal of treatment is to extend the life span of the patient.
Attention To These To Prevent Colon Cancer!
Since the cause of colon cancer is not known yet, it is not possible to prevent cancer 100%. However, it may be possible to minimize the current risk by paying attention to some issues. Let’s give a short list of the most important issues to consider:
- Foods rich in fruits, vegetables and legumes should be consumed.
- Red meat consumption should be extremely limited
- Alcohol and tobacco products should be avoided
- Excessive weight gain should be avoided
- Exercise and sports should be done regularly instead of a sedentary life.
- The body’s daily need for calcium and vitamin D must be met.
- After the age of 50, regular checks should be made.
- Patients in the high risk group can benefit from conservative surgery.
You can write your questions and concerns about colon cancer in the comment section.