The Basics of Colon or Colorectal Cancer

In today’s bustling life we seem to take our health for granted. Due to inappropriate routine and food habits, all parts of our body are affected badly. For most of us, our awareness is only limited to the bigger organs while ignoring the smaller yet vital ones; one of such organs is the colon. This blog covers all the basics about the colon and the related colorectal cancer.

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What are colon and colorectal cancer?

Colon is a long tube, approximately 5 to 6-foot in length, which connects the small intestine and the rectum.  The rectum further connects the colon to the anus from where the fecal matter is excreted out of the body.

Cancer that affects the colon is known as the colon cancer and the one affecting the rectum is called the rectum cancer; however, cancer that affects either or both of these organs is termed as colorectal cancer or intestinal cancer in common terms.

What causes colorectal cancer?

This type of cancer generally develops with time due to the precancerous growth of adenomatous colon polyps which is believed to happen after a series of changes in the cellular DNA. However, the exact cause of colorectal cancer is still unknown. Certain risk factors are associated with the disease including:

  1. Alcohol intake
  2. Family history
  3. Imbalanced diet
  4. Inflammatory bowel disease
  5. Smoking

What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?

Symptoms of colon cancer may or may not be remarkable, especially in the early stages, but even certain very common health problems may be a reason for this kind of cancer. Watch for the following Colon cancer symptoms:

  1. Abdominal cramps
  2. Abdominal pain
  3. Bleeding from the rectum
  4. Blood in the stool
  5. Changes in stool color
  6. Changes in stool shape, such as narrowed stool
  7. Constipation
  8. Diarrhea
  9. Fatigue
  10. Passing excessive gas
  11. Unexplained weakness
  12. Unintended weight loss

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How is colorectal cancer diagnosed and treated? If you notice any abnormal activities or symptoms as stated above, immediately schedule an appointment with a doctor. A doctor can ask to take the following in order to diagnose the disease:

  1. Blood TestingColonoscopy
  2. CT Scan
  3. X-Ray

Treatment Options: Treatment of colorectal cancer depends upon multiple factors such as the patient’s overall health, age, stage of cancer and so on. Depending upon these factors your doctor may decide on a line of treatment. The treatment may include:

  1. Chemotherapy
  2. Medication
  3. Radiation
  4. Surgery

At the early stages, there are quite good chances for a person to recover from colorectal cancer. Hence it is essential to keep awareness and get timely treatment.