Everything you need to know about Colon Cancer

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Everything you need to know about Colon Cancer

As the cancer awareness month ends, here is the last of our series

Everything you need to know about Colon Cancer

Cancer of the colon or rectum also called colorectal cancer, is located at the digestive tract’s lower end. It is a malignant tumor that begins in the large intestine.

Causes:

Old age
Hereditary: colorectal cancer can be passed on through genes
Poor diet and lifestyle is a factor that contributes to colon cancer
Mainly high fat, more red meat and low fiber diet can cause such problems
Obesity
Chronic smoking and alcohol consumption

Symptoms

  • Change in the consistency of your stool might be a symptom of colon cancer. Look out for persistent change in your bowel habits
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
  • If you’re experiencing cramps, gas, or any abdominal discomfort, it might be a symptom of colon cancer
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • If you get a feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely after your visits to the loo, you may have colorectal cancer.


The most important point to note is, one should never self-diagnose. If you think you’re experiencing symptoms of a disease or ailment, no matter how big or small, always consult a family doctor, general practitioner, or an oncologist (a doctor who treats cancer).

Detection:

  • Colonoscopy: a thin fiber-optic instrument is inserted into the colon for examination
  • Biopsy: tissues removed from the living body for testing
  • Molecular testing of the tumour
  • Blood tests
  • Diagnostic imaging tests such as CT scan, MRI scan, and X-ray
  • Ultrasound


Treatment:
Treatment of colorectal cancer is based on the size, location, and how far cancer has spread

Some common treatments include:

  • surgery to remove cancer
  • chemotherapy
  • radiation therapy

Prevention:

  • Get screened or get diagnostic imaging tests. Screenings are tests that look for cancer before signs and symptoms develop
  • Follow a healthy diet; eat your greens, fruits, and whole grains
  • Exercise regularly
  • Obesity is said to be a cause of colon cancer. Control your BMI by following a healthy lifestyle
  • Quit smoking as it leads to many more injurious diseases as well


Where to go for help?

  • Indian Cancer Society
  • Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute & Research Centre
  • Cancer Healer Center
  • Charutar Arogya Mandal
  • St. Jude India's Child Care Centre

*Information sourced from various websites such as maxhealthcare.in, americanoncologyinstitute.com, mayoclinic.org/ and cancer.org