WHAT IS COLON CANCER?
The phrase “colon cancer” refers to a specific type of cancer that develops in the cells lining the large intestine (colon); some researchers prefer the term “colorectal cancer,” which also includes the rectum. In the United States, there are more than 101,000 new instances of colon cancer each year. For both men and women, colon cancer is the third most common cancer-related cause of death in the United States.
7 CAUSES COLON CANCER
Colon cancer (colorectal cancer) is caused by:
Ulcerative colitis (UC)
WHAT ARE THE EARLY WARNING SIGNS OF COLON CANCER?
Contrary to several illnesses, colon cancer frequently goes undetected in the early stages. This is why it’s so important to heed screening advice. The likelihood of successfully treating colon cancer increases with early detection.
As colon cancer develops and spreads, symptoms and indicators may start to appear. However, there isn’t a single symptom or indication that colon cancer is present. The following are some of the most typical symptoms of colon cancer when they do show up:
- A persistent change in bowel habits
- Narrow or pencil-thin stools
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Blood in the stool, rectal bleeding (blood may appear as bright red blood or dark stools)
- Persistent abdominal pain or discomfort, such as cramps or bloating
- A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely
- Unexplained weight loss
- Fatigue, tiredness, or weakness
WHAT ARE THE STAGES OF COLON CANCER?
The extent of the disease’s spread at the time of diagnosis is referred to as the stage of colon cancer. Stages 1-4 refer to the four primary stages of colon cancer.
The muscular wall of the large intestine has been affected by stage 1 colon cancer, which has spread from the lining of the large intestine.
The most outer layer of the intestine’s wall has been penetrated by stage 2 colon cancer, which has the potential to spread to other organs.
Colon cancer that has reached stage 3 has spread to nearby lymph nodes or other organs.
Metastatic colon cancer is colon cancer in stage 4. It has progressed outside of the colon to the liver, bones, or lungs, among other body organs.
A extremely early cancer that exclusively affects the lining of the intestine is frequently referred to as Stage 0. This has additionally been called carcinoma in situ.
WHAT OTHER CONDITIONS HAVE THE SAME SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS AS COLON CANCER?
The same signs and symptoms that colon cancer causes can also be caused by other diseases. Some of these ailments are quite prevalent.
Inflammatory bowel conditions like Crohn’s disease can result in bleeding in the stool.
Diverticulitis, ulcers, and ulcerative colitis (UC).
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can lead to bloating, stomach pain, and changes in bowel habits such as diarrhea and constipation.
It is crucial to address any of these symptoms you are having with your healthcare provider in order to identify their root cause.