What is Colon Cancer? What are its Symptoms, and Preventions

Colon cancer is a disease in which malignant, cancerous cells form in the tissues of the colon. Signs of colon cancer include blood in the stool or changes in bowel habits. Diagnosis of this type of cancer is made by examining the colon and rectum, and medical history affects the risk of colon cancer.

What is Colon Cancer?

Colon infection is a type of cancer that begins in the large intestine, at the end of the digestive tract, sometimes called colorectal cancer, which combines colon cancer and rectal cancer.

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It usually begins as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of polyps, which form inside the colon. Over time, some of these polyps can develop into colon infection.

Polyps can be small and cause few or no symptoms. For this reason, doctors recommend regular screening tests to help prevent colon cancer by identifying and removing polyps before they turn into cancer.

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The colon or large intestine is the final part of the intestine, and it is shaped like a tube, and its interior is covered with a mucosa made up of cells. When one becomes malignant and multiplies without control, colon infection arises.

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The formation of colon cancer is a process in stages that begins with the appearance of a polyp that becomes malignant. 

This malignant tumour can grow locally (invading the layers of the digestive tract wall and being able to reach the organs contained in the abdomen), by lymphatic spread to the nodes or by hematogenous spread (through the blood they go preferably to the liver, lung, bone and brain).

If the tumour is detected early, it is curable in more than 90% of cases. For this reason, early detection is vital since it is frequent cancer. 80% of cases are sporadic, and 20% have a genetic influence.

What increases the risk of colon cancer?

There are several risk factors, ranging from genetics to habits:

  • History of this cancer in the family, specifically in the father, siblings or children.
  • History of colon, rectal, or ovarian cancer.
  • History of colorectal polyps 1 centimetre or larger, or in which abnormal cells have been observed.
  • Inherited alterations in certain genes. On this, our doctor specifies that one of the risk factors is “presenting inherited changes in certain genes that increase the risk of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or Lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colon infection)”.
  • History of chronic ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, two intestinal diseases, suffered for eight years or more.
  • The advanced age.
  • Daily consumption of three or more alcoholic beverages.
  • Smoking.
  • The obesity.

Colon Cancer symptoms

Symptoms and signs of this type of cancer include:

  • Any persistent change in your bowel habit
  • Bleeding from the anus or blood in the stool
  • Persistent abdominal discomforts, such as cramps, gas, or pain
  • Feeling of incomplete emptying during defecation
  • Weakness or tiredness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • If you detect any of these signs in your body, it is advisable to go to your doctor. 

Can it be prevented?

You can take steps to reduce your risk and diagnose it early, but there’s no guarantee that you won’t get the disease.

  • Maintain a correct bodyweight with a good diet. 
  • Doing physical activity.
  • Do not smoke or drink alcohol in excess.
  • Screening proactively.

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