Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that start in the large intestine (colon). The colon is the last part of the digestive tract.
Colorectal cancer mainly affects old age adults, it can happen at any age.it usually start as a small noncancerous clumps of cells called polyps that are form on the inside of the colon. over time if not treated these polyps become cancers.
Polyps may be small and produce new for this reason doctors recommended regular screening test to help to prevent these polyps other wise these polyps become large in size and become cancerous it some time known as colorectal cancer which begins in the rectum.
Symptoms of colon cancer are following
- Rectal bleeding or blood in stool.
- Weakness or fatigue.
- Unexpected weight loss.
- Feeling like your bowel is not completely empty.
- Persistent abdominal discomfort such as cramps or pain.
- Change in your bowel habits such as diarrhea or constipation.
Many people with the colon cancer have no symptoms in the start, symptoms appear depend on the size of the tumor or cancer and location of the cancer in colon.
In general, colon cancer starts when the healthy cells in colon develop mutations or changes in their DNA.
Healthy cells grow and divide orderly but when the cell DNA change or damage it divides irregularly and become cancer.
With time the cancerous cells grow and invades other normal tissue that are nearby. The cancerous cells travel to other part of the body and metastasis there.
Factors that increase the risk of colon cancer are following
- Older age
- Colon cancer can develop in any stage of age but it is more commonly develop after age 50.
- Colon cancer is more common in African and American.
- If any one already had a personal history on colon cancer or polyps that person has a greater chance of colon cancer in future.
- Chronic inflammatory diseases of the colon such as ulcerative colitis and crohn’s disease can increase the risk of colon or rectal cancer.
- If your blood relative has had a rectal or colon cancer then the risk of your cancer increases.
- People with low fiber and high fat diet are found to increase the risk of colon or rectal cancer such as red meat and processed meat.
- Change of life style reduce the risk of your cancer. People who are active less likely to develop colon cancer.
- Diabetes patients have more chances of colon or rectal cancer.
- Obese people have more chances of colon or rectal cancer.
- Smoking people have more chances of colon or rectal cancer.
- People with more use of alcohol have more chances of colon or rectal cancer.
- People with radiation therapy for cancer increases the risk of colon cancer.
Screening colon cancer
Doctor recommend screening for colon or rectal cancer around the age of 50 but the people with the family history of colon or rectal cancer should consider screening sooner.
Lifestyle changes to reduce colon or rectal cancer
Take following steps
- Eat a variety of fruits vegetables and whole grains, these contain vitamins minerals and fiber which may play a vital role in cancer prevention.
- Stop smoking, smoking people have more chances of colon or rectal cancer.
- Regularly exercise at least 30 minutes, if you are slowly and inactive then start slowly and regularly you can achieve your target of 30 minutes of walk daily.
- Maintain your weight, if you are healthy in weight maintain your weight with the help of regular exercise and healthy diet.
Colon cancer prevention for people who are high risk
- Many type of medicines are present that are found to reduce the risk of precancerous polyps but dose length and time period is not clear.