Table of contents:

Second Most Popular: What You Need to Know About Colon Cancer
Second Most Popular: What You Need to Know About Colon Cancer

Bowel cancer is a common name for oncological diseases. Colorectal cancer is the most common of these. It is the second most common cancer in women and the third most common in men. More than 1.8 million new cases of this disease are recorded annually, and 850 thousand patients die.

Second Most Popular: What You Need to Know About Colon Cancer

Despite the fact that this form of cancer is very popular, people know much less about it than about breast cancer or melanoma, for example. Because of this, they often miss the symptoms of the disease, without attaching importance to them. Many go to doctors with an advanced stage of the disease, when it becomes difficult to treat the disease.

It is important to be aware of the symptoms of the disease in order to recognize the disease in time. Statistics show that 9 out of 10 patients can be saved, but only when the disease is detected at an early stage.

How to recognize colorectal cancer?

The most common signs that may indicate an illness are:

  • the appearance of blood in the stool;
  • changes in bowel habits such as sudden constipation or diarrhea that cannot be attributed to infection or dietary changes;
  • feeling of incomplete bowel movement;
  • unexplained weight loss;
  • severe fatigue and fatigue.

Each of these signs can appear in healthy people, and it will not necessarily be associated with a malignant process in the body. However, if one or more symptoms persist for more than 4 weeks, you should see your doctor. There are often cases when the disease is completely asymptomatic, without manifesting itself in any way.

What are the risk factors for bowel cancer?

Bowel cancer and, in particular, colorectal cancer are more common in people over 50 years old - people of this age are at increased risk of developing the disease. In addition, the likelihood of getting sick is increased in those in whose family there have already been cases of intestinal cancer in close relatives - the genetic factor is important. Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, also increase your chances of encountering malignant tumors.

Additional risk factors: sedentary lifestyle, smoking, alcohol use, obesity, type 2 diabetes, a diet low in fiber, high fat intake, and frequent consumption of fried red meat.

Why does bowel cancer occur?

Scientists and doctors do not yet have an unequivocal answer about the causes of bowel cancer. Most often, the appearance of colorectal cancer is associated with polyps, which from harmless accumulations of cells on the mucous membrane are reborn into malignant formations. It is not yet completely clear what exactly provokes the transformation of a polyp into a malignant tumor, but it is known that the presence of several polyps at once or large polyps with a diameter of more than 1 cm increase the likelihood of developing intestinal cancer.

How to recognize a disease?

The most effective way to detect colorectal cancer is through a colonoscopy. Now it can be done under anesthesia, and therefore it is easier and easier to decide on it. In addition to colonoscopy, there is another important study - the analysis of feces for occult blood.

You need to start screening at the age of 50: the occult blood test should be repeated once every two years, and a colonoscopy, if there are no special indications, every 10 years.

If the risk of developing the disease is increased, for example, the mother or another close relative had bowel cancer, screening should be started at an earlier age - at both 40 and 30 years old, the doctor will give clear instructions.

If a disease is suspected, the doctor can take a biopsy - pinch off a small piece of intestinal tissue for further analysis. However, it may be more effective to remove polyps immediately upon detection and their subsequent analysis in the laboratory.

How is bowel cancer treated?

The treatment plan is determined by the doctor depending on where the tumor is located, how big it is and how it develops. This can be surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy.

The surgical approach is one of the most common. In many cases, it is sufficient to remove the affected area of ​​the intestine, and additional therapy is not required. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are often prescribed as an adjunct to surgery.

An important term that oncologists use when referring to a disease is five-year survival, which reflects how many patients live more than five years after diagnosis. For colorectal cancer, this figure is 87-92%, which is considered a fairly good indicator.

What can you do to avoid colon cancer?

You cannot completely rule out the likelihood of developing this form of cancer, but you can try to reduce the risk of developing it. Maintaining a certain level of physical activity, reducing the consumption of red meat and products from it, such as sausages, introducing vegetables and fruits containing a lot of fiber into your diet can help, if not avoid, then at least minimize the chances of developing the disease. It is especially important to adhere to these recommendations for those who are at increased risk.

Popular by topic