The large intestine, which is the last part of the digestive tract, is known as the colon. In case of colon cancer, adenomatous polyps are found on the colon, which can lead to the condition. Sadly, the symptoms related to the formation and growth of adenomatous polyps are often detected at a later stage. This is the precise reason why one must go to a colon cancer specialist and get screened, so that polyps can be identified and removed in time.
Signs and symptoms
Some of the signs and symptoms of colon cancer can be confusing. However, keep a check on some of these aspects –
- Change in bowel movements – can be diarrhea or constipation, or even both alternatively
- Blood in the stool or direct rectal bleeding
- Fatigue and weakness
- Weight loss
As mentioned, most people with colon cancer don’t have any early signs of the condition. If you find signs mentioned above or blood in your stool, find a reliable colon cancer specialist right away. Age is considered to be one of the prime causes of colon cancer, and therefore, colon cancer screenings should be done by the age of 50 for men and women alike. If you have a family history of the cancer, get screened early.
Causes and risk factors
It’s not clearly known what causes colon cancer in each case, but it has been found healthy cells can have errors in DNA that can lead to the condition. There are many risk factors though, such as –
- Most cases of colon cancer have been diagnosed in people over 50.
- It is also known that African-Americans are at a greater risk of the disease.
- If you have a history of polyps or colorectal cancer, the condition can lead to colon cancer.
- Colon inflammatory diseases. Crohn’s disease and other such conditions can also increase the risk of colon cancer.
- Family history. If you have history of colon cancer in more than one member of the family, you are at a greater risk.
- Diet factors. People who eat a high fat, low fiber diet can be susceptible to colon cancer. Studies have also revealed that there can be a relation between the condition and diets rich in processed and red meat.
Additionally, lifestyle conditions can also be potential risk factors– think of diabetes, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption and smoking. Get screened for colon cancer if you are already in your 50s.