What is colon cancer?
The colon, also known as the large intestine, is a vital organ that functions to remove water from digested food and store stool until it leaves the body. Many people neglect colon health because they don’t realize how vital colon health is in keeping their bodies running smoothly. Colon cancer results when cells mutate and reproduce uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors that can invade healthy surrounding tissues. In many cases, this mutated tissue can even increase into other areas of the body through colon cancer metastasis.
What are the symptoms of colon cancer?
- blood in the stool, either bright red or very dark
- unexplained weight loss
- fatigue and persistent fatigue
- abdominal pain or discomfort that doesn’t go away with treatment
- aches and pains throughout the body
What are colon cancer treatments?
While it does not have a 100% cure rate, treatments can poison cancer cells to death while leaving healthy cells intact. Treatment options depend on the location of colon tumors as well as how far they’ve spread. For example, surgery can remove polyps or other small tumors early on, but surgery is much more involved once a tumor has grown significantly. This colon surgery may also be followed by chemotherapy to ensure that colon cancer cells are destroyed.
Colon cancer is common in people aged 50 and older, but other risk factors include eating a high-fat diet, obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, lack of physical activity, and family history. Doctors recommend colonoscopies every ten years for people at average risk of colon cancer. They also suggest screenings for anyone over the age of 20 with additional risk factors. Screenings can help doctors detect colon polyps before turning into colon malignant tumors. It is often curable when detected early with colonoscopies.
What Should You Do If You Have Colon Cancer?
If you think you may be experiencing symptoms, talk to your doctor right away. Early detection dramatically increases your survival rate.
Until then, it is the third leading cause of cancer death in men and women. Talk to a doctor if you think that your colon cancer prognosis doesn’t look good. Your colon doctor can provide more statistics for patient survival rates.
For most people, colon health is an afterthought until something goes wrong. But it’s essential to be proactive about colon health so that your chances of colon cancer are as low as possible. You can help protect yourself from colon malignancy by decreasing risk factors such as obesity and high-fat diets, being physically active, and quitting smoking. It’s also essential to have a regular schedule for colonoscopies if you’re over 50. Colonoscopies can detect colon cancer early when it’s more easily treated.
How Can You Slow Down Colon Cancer?
Another good colon health tip for everyone is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables while minimizing processed foods high in sugar and fat. High-fiber diets have been proven to prevent cancer recurrence.
A diet high in vegetables and low in processed sugars and fats will drastically reduce your risk for developing cancers and their recurrence. Fiber has been shown repeatedly to help prevent tumor growth while reducing the chance that precancerous polyps turn into colon tumors. Incorporate plenty of fresh fruits and veggies while minimizing foods like bread, pasta, and fried foods, encouraging colon tumors.