Colon cancer is a type of cancer that affects the colon, the large intestine. The colon is part of the body’s digestive system, and its primary function is to absorb water and nutrients from food and to eliminate waste. Colon cancer occurs when healthy cells in the colon develop mutations in their DNA, leading them to grow and divide rapidly. These abnormal cells form a tumor, and if doctors do not detect the tumor and treat it, this cancer can spread to other parts of the body.
Colon Cancer Screening
The importance of early screening for colon cancer cannot be overstated. Every year, at least 100,000 people in the US recieve the chilling diagnosis of colon cancer. When this type of cancer gets detected in its early stages, it can often be treated successfully, and the chances of survival are much higher. Screening tests, such as a colonoscopy, can help doctors find colon cancer at an early stage when it is most treatable.
Some people are at a higher risk of developing this disease. Risk factors for this type of cancer include a family history of this cancer, a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, or being over the age of 50. People with any of these risk factors should talk to their doctor about getting screened for this cancer.
If cancerous cells are detected, treatment will depend on the stage of the cancer and the individual’s overall health. Treatment options may include surgery to remove the cancerous growth or chemotherapy to kill cancer cells. Experts also recommend radiation therapy to shrink the tumor. In some cases, your doctor will use combination of these treatments.
One of the biggest challenges with this type of cancer? It often does not cause any noticeable symptoms in its early stages. This is why screening is so important. Signs may be altered bowel movements (diarrhea or constipation), blood in stool, abdominal discomfort, and unexplained weight decrease. If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to talk to your doctor right away.
In conclusion, cancer of the colon is a serious disease that can be deadly if not detected and treated early. Early screening is crucial for detecting colon cancer at an early stage, when it is most treatable. If you are at high risk for colon cancer, talk to your doctor about getting screened. And if you experience any symptoms of a cancerous colon, don’t delay in seeking medical help.
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