6. Colon Cancer
Colon (also known as colorectal) cancer occurs when uncontrolled cell growth forms in the large intestine, causing a malignant tumor on the inner walls. The majority of colon cancers begin as a polyp, which is a small growth that appears on the inner lining of the rectum or colon. Not all polyps become cancers, and generally there are two main types: adenomatous polyps, which can change into cancer, and hyperplastic polyps, which are more common and usually not cancerous.
If colon cancer isn’t discovered and treated as soon as possible, the cancerous cells can spread and grow outward into the lymph or blood vessels, the lymph nodes and other parts of the body which damages healthy tissues and causes many health complications. Colon cancer can be a hereditary issue, and other factors include old age, poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, diabetes, smoking and alcohol can also increase the risk of developing colon cancer.
Symptoms of colon cancer can be varied and depend on many things like location and size of the tumor, and whether it has spread or not. They include diarrhea, constipation, stool changes, bleeding from the rectum, blood in the stool, painful bowel movements, weakness, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, painful cramps and gas in the abdomen and iron deficiency like anemia. These symptoms often don’t occur in the early stages of colon cancer, which is why it’s so important to have frequent bowel cancer screenings.
Treating colon cancer depends on the stage the cancer is at. Minimally invasive surgery can be performed if the cancer is still very small and in the early stages, and if it’s become invasive, a partial colectomy, colostomy or lymph node removal might be suggested. For advanced cancers, treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and palliative care. Early detection is the best remedy, as well as leading a healthy lifestyle.