Colon Cancer

Colon cancer starts in the large intestine (colon). It affects both men and women, though it is less common in women. More than 65% of cases are found in developed countries and usually, people aged 50 years and above are at a higher risk of getting colon cancer.

Most colon cancers develop from non-cancerous polyps which slowly become malignant over a period of time. But if the polyps are removed by colonoscopy or surgery, the chances of a person developing this kind of cancer reduces considerably. Other risk factors include advanced age, red meat and fat-rich diet, intake of alcohol, race and ethnicity, inflammatory bowel disease, family history, personal history of cancer ( breast, ovary, endometrium, or rectum), and a history of ulcerative colitis or Crohn disease.

Colon cancer symptoms depend on the size and location of cancer. Some commonly experienced symptoms are a change in bowel movement, abdominal pain and tenderness in the lower abdomen, blood in stool, frequent bloating, fullness, cramps, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, and vomiting. Screening for colon cancer can easily detect its existence even before the symptoms become noticeable. Doctors usually conduct a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy to obtain a sample of the colonic growth / ulcer to detect this kind of cancer.

Early detection often leads to the complete cure of the ailment. Colon cancer treatment depends on the location, size, and spread of the disease as well as the health of the patient. Treatment for colon cancer depends on stage and involves some combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy.