According to resources such as the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is one of the main cancer deaths in the US. But finding out early increases your chances of survival. Almost every colon cancer will begin in the glands of the lining near your rectum and the colon area. When the doctors refer to this, they’re talking about this area. There is no singular cause for this, since nearly all of these begin as harmless polyps, which may then become cancer. If you’re over 60, have a descent in eastern Europe, consume lots of meats which are processed, experienced polyps, have cancer in other places, have bowel conditions which are inflammatory, have a past in your family or personal history in or breast cancer, you’re at risk for this type of cancer.
Usually, there are a couple of syndromes that might increase your risk levels of developing this. Familial adenomatous polyposis, or hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, or known as lynch syndrome is usually the cause of this. You may also want to look at what you eat. This is associated with a low fiber, high fat diet and lots of red meat. But there are some studies that show that may not be the case.
So, what are some symptoms of this? Well, abdominal pain and tenderness in your lower section of the abdomen, blood in the stool, change in bowel habits such as diarrhea or constipation, stools which are narrow, and unexpected weight loss are all symptoms of colorectal cancer, and you should get treated for this as soon as you can, since you never know what might happen.
Now, the best way to treat this is to see a doctor. You can get it treated before it gets worse. Usually, you’ll get a physical exam first, and pressing into the belly area. While the doctor might feel a lump in your abdomen, it requires you to get a rectal exam to fully ensure that there is a chance for rectal cancer. If you’re at risk for colon cancer, you might get a rectal exam and it might not reveal that.
Colon Cancer can be determined with a help of occult blood test if you are getting a small amount of blood within your stole. This test may not be accurate. You may also need to get a colonoscopy when you do get that test, so you should definitely make sure you get both. Also, a positive FOBT doesn’t mean that you necessarily have cancer.
You also might get some imaging tests to figure out, and you may also get blood tests too, including blood count for those with anemia, or liver function tests.
You may have to undergo more tests, if you are doctor confirms that you have cancer to make sure it’s not spreading. It will also help to see the current stage of that cancer. Stage 0 is the earliest, and 1 is within the inner layers of your colon. Stage 3 is it spreads through the muscle walls, then stage 3 is it’s spread the lymph nodes, then stage 5 is that it’s spread to other organs. You can get blood tests to determine this as well.
So, what is the treatment? Usually, radiation and chemotherapy might be the first thing, and you might get a colectomy to remove the cancer cells if they’re not removed already. Usually, stage 0 can be easily removed during a colonoscopy. For the other stages, you’ll need to have more extensive surgery.
That’s it, and you should see a doctor if you have any of the symptoms mentioned here.