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Colon cancer as indicative of the name is cancer primarily affecting the colon or the large intestine. While colon cancer is considered the third most common type of cancer affecting people worldwide, it is also one of the most preventable types of cancer, if diagnosed and treated on time.
Colon cancer does not suddenly turn malignant and life-threatening. In quite a few cases, the tumor appears benign, also known as Adenomatous Polyps. With the passage of time, the adenomatous polyps (some, if not all) progress into colon cancer. In this article, I will emphasize upon the causes and proper management of colon cancer.
What acts as the trigger for colon cancer?
Like most of the other cancer forms, the exact cause of colon cancer is hard to decipher. However, in many cases, gene mutations have been found to play a pivotal role resulting in cancer formation in the colon. The mutations, as expected, is often an inheritable trait that can be passed on to subsequent generations. The following inheritable mutations make a person as well as their immediate family more susceptible to developing colon cancer.
1. FAP or Familial Adenomatous Polyposis is characterized by the formation of many polyps within the lining of the rectum and the large intestine. These polyps though start off as a noncancerous mass of cells have the potential to develop into cancerous cells over a time period. Thus, the condition should be treated at the earliest as people (FAP left unattended) stand a near 100% risk of suffering from colon cancer before reaching 40.
2. Lynch syndrome is another inheritable medical disorder that results from the mutation in the gene that is responsible for DNA mismatch repair. With the gene unavailable for the repair, the DNA undergoes damage with deleterious consequences. Also known as Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, the condition often plays a significant role in the development of colon cancer, especially in people below 50 years.
3. Further, an unhealthy diet comprising primarily of high fat and low fiber foods can wreak havoc, with colon cancer being one of the possible consequence. Increased consumption of red meat, processed meat as well as alcohol can also act as a catalyst triggering colon cancer.
4. Obese as well as diabetic patients also stand a higher risk of suffering from colon cancer.
Management and Proper Care
As per reports, colon cancer is one of the least prevented types of cancer worldwide. There can be a myriad of factors responsible for the late detection and treatment. Proper care and management can go a long way to reduce the incidence of colon cancer.
2. People above 40 years and those with a family history of colon cancer should undergo regular health checkups and screenings.
4. Take care of the diet. Avoid eating fatty foods on a regular basis. Consume more dietary fiber.
5. Lead an active and healthy lifestyle. Be involved in any active exercise/sports or at the minimal walking.