Do we really give any thought about this part of our body? How much attention do we pay to what it does? But once the pain sets in then we are aware of little else. The colon is amazingly four feet long, starting at the end of the small bowel and ending at the anus. This organ is quite muscular and tube-like, snaking its way through your belly. It helps to take up nutrients from food, and stores, controls, and empties fecal matter.When cancer affects the colon abnormal cells proliferate and form a tumor in the colon. If unchecked they spread to the nearby lymph nodes and then to other organs in the body. Also called colorectal cancer (as the rectum might be affected), colon cancers are mostly adenocarcinomas because they build up from the glands coating the inner wall of the colon.
The risk factors for colon cancer involve excessive absorption of alcohol and obesity. You are also at risk if any member of your family has had colon or breast cancer because of some genes that make you predisposed to cancer. Also, please do not leave any intestinal polyps untreated. These could turn malignant and become cancerous. Smoking is also a high risk factor.
The symptoms of colon cancer are similar to other diseases such as blood in the stools, pain in the lower abdomen, vomiting, relentless fatigue, and severe constipation. The doctor will study the symptoms and then carry out a colonoscopy to check if it is indeed colon cancer. With this test and x-rays of the colon, the physician can inspect the colon’s insides and determine if there are any tumors. The physician may ask you to undergo a CT scan and ultrasound in order to be able to stage the cancer. Surgery is the most preferred option to remove colonic tumors. If the cancer metastasizes chemotherapy and radiation may be recommended. The prognosis is good if the cancer is detected in the early stages and it has not spread to other organs of the body as the survival rate is five times that of late stage cancers.
Colon cancer causes more deaths apart from lung cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. It affects men and women alike and also different races.
A diet rich in proteins and fats increases the risk of this cancer, so it’s better to eat a diet that is filled with high fiber foods, vegetables and fruits. Lower your intake of alcohol, and if you tend to obesity, make exercise a regular part of your routine.
Consult your physician now about colon cancer and give him information about your lifestyle and any symptoms that have manifested so as to determine if you are risk for colon cancer. Then make sure that a colonoscopy is part of your medical fitness tests at regular intervals. Be clued in about this cancer and spread awareness.
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