Diarrhea and constipation and common digestive ailments but if these persist for over 4 weeks, it could be a sign of colon cancer. Colon cancer refers, to a type of cancer that affects the lower half of the digestive system and the large intestines. In most cases, this type of cancer begins in the form of small adenomatous polyps. However, with time, these polyps turn cancerous.
As mentioned above a change in bowel movements is one of the main signs of colon cancer. Some of the other common symptoms include:
The symptoms of colon cancer vary according to the stage of the cancer. In its early stages, many patients may not recognize any symptoms. Symptoms also depend on the location of the cancer tumour.
Colon cancer can affect men and women but elderly people are considered at a higher risk for this disease as compared to others. For this reason screening for colon cancer is considered part of a routine health checkup for people over the age of 50. Certain genetic syndromes can also increase a person’s risk of colon cancer. Additionally, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, low fiber diet, smoking and alcohol consumption can also increase the risk of colon cancer.
Colon cancer can be treated. Treatment depends largely on the stage of cancer. There are 4 stages of colon cancer.
In the case of early stage colon cancer, minimally invasive surgery may be suggested to remove the polyps and resection the colon walls. If it has turned invasive, a partial colectomy may be performed or an artificial route for waste matter may be created. In most cases, surgery will be followed by chemotherapy or radiation to kill the remaining cancer cells.
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