Colon Cancer -Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

How I knew I had Colon Cancer

The large intestine’s colon, sometimes referred to as the colon or colorectal cancer, is affected by this type of cancer. According to the World Health Organization, it is the third most prevalent cancer in both men and women globally, with over 1.8 million new cases being identified each year (WHO). Colon cancer often starts as a benign development known as a polyp and progresses slowly over time. These polyps have the potential to develop into malignant tumors if untreated.

"Colon Cancer: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment"

Although the actual etiology of colon cancer is unknown, there are some risk factors that raise the possibility of the disease. These risk elements include, among others:

  • Age: The risk of colon increases as you get older, with more than 90% of cases occurring in people over the age of 50.
  • Family history: If you have a family history of colon cancer, your risk of developing the disease is higher.
  • Personal history: If you have had colon or certain types of polyps in the past, you are more likely to develop the disease again.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease: People with inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, have a higher risk of colon.
  • Lifestyle factors: Certain lifestyle factors, such as a diet high in red meat and low in fruits and vegetables, a lack of physical activity, obesity, and smoking, can increase your risk of cancer.
"Colon Cancer: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment"
“Colon Cancer: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment”

Colon Cancer Symptoms:

In the early stages, colon cancer may not cause any symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, you may experience the following:

  • Changes in bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation
  • Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding
  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Nausea or vomiting

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see your doctor right away.

"Colon Cancer: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment"
Colon Cancer Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Colon Cancer Diagnosis

To diagnose colon cancer, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following tests:

  • Colonoscopy: A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to examine the inside of your colon and rectum for signs of cancer or polyps.
  • Fecal occult blood test: This test checks for hidden blood in the stool, which can be a sign of cancer.
  • Sigmoidoscopy: This procedure is similar to a colonoscopy but only examines the lower part of the colon.
  • Imaging tests: Your doctor may order an X-ray, CT scan, MRI, or PET scan to look for signs of cancer in your colon and other parts of your body.

"Colon Cancer: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment"

Treatment: How I Knew I Had Colon Cancer

The treatment for  cancer depends on the stage of the disease and other factors, such as your age and overall health. Some common treatments include: health and wellness

  • Surgery: Surgery is the most common treatment for colon. The surgeon will remove the cancerous part of the colon or rectum, along with nearby lymph nodes.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It is often used after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. It is sometimes used before surgery to shrink the tumor, or after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.
  • Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that helps your immune system fight cancer cells.

Colon Cancer Prevention:

  • While there is no sure way to prevent cancer, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk:
  • Get screened: Screening for c cancer can help detect the disease early, when it is most treatable.
  • Eat a healthy diet: A diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in red and processed meats.

N.B. All photos collected from a different source

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