Colon Cancer, how does it form?
Colon cancer (Colorectal Cancer or CRC) is the third most common type of cancer in the United States. In men, it is the second most common cancer after prostate cancer. It is the third most common cancer in women after breast and lung cancers—Colorectal cancer forms in the cells of the colon or rectum.
How does colon cancer form?
Usually, colon cancer forms from growths called polyps. Polyps are abnormal growths that can form in the lining of the colon or rectum.
Some polyps may become cancerous over time, but most do not. Doctors often find polyps during a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a test that uses a long, thin tube with a camera on end to look inside the colon and rectum.
Symptoms of Colon Cancer
The most common symptoms of CRC are:
– Abdominal pain, cramping, or discomfort
– Blood in your stool (Your stool is what you expel from your bowel)
– Diarrhea or constipation that lasts longer than a few days
– Anemia (low red blood cell count)
– Fatigue (tiredness)
– Weight loss, unintentional
Treatment for Colorectal Cancer
Treatment for colorectal cancer may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these treatments.
Surgery is the most common treatment for colorectal cancer. Surgery may be done to remove cancer or remove a part of the colon or rectum that has cancer.
Chemotherapy is a treatment with drugs that kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy is often given to people who have surgery for colorectal cancer.
Radiation therapy is a treatment with high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation. Radiation therapy is used to kill cancer cells and stop them from growing. Radiation therapy may be given before surgery to shrink the tumor and kill any remaining cancer cells after surgery.
Side effects from treatment may include:
– Bleeding from an incision in the abdomen
– Nausea and vomiting
– Infection where the incision was made
– Pain or discomfort near the incision
– Constipation or difficulty passing stool – Loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, changes in taste sensation, dry mouth, muscle cramps. If you experience any of these side effects, contact your doctor.
Prevention of Colorectal Cancer
There are a few ways to lower your risk of getting colorectal cancer. Some of these ways include:
– Eating a healthy diet
– Exercising regularly
– Limiting alcohol intake
– Avoiding smoking
– Getting regular screenings.
Tips on living with a colon cancer diagnosis or recovering from treatments
If you have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, there are a few things that you can do to live a healthy and productive life.
– Eat a healthy diet. Eating nutritious foods will help your body to heal and fight cancer.
– Exercise regularly. Exercise helps to boost the immune system and improve overall health.
– Limit alcohol intake. Excessive alcohol consumption can damage the liver and interfere with cancer treatments.
– Avoid smoking. Smoking increases the risk of developing cancer and can make treatments less effective.
– Get regular screenings. Screening tests such as colonoscopies can detect cancer early when it is most treatable.
Colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer in the United States. In men, it is the second most common cancer after prostate cancer. It is the third most common cancer in women after breast and lung cancers—Colorectal cancer forms in the cells of the colon or rectum.
Most colorectal cancers form from growths called polyps. Polyps are abnormal growths that can develop in the lining of the colon or rectum. Some polyps may become cancerous over time, but most do not. Doctors often find polyps during a colonoscopy- a test that uses a long, thin tube with a camera on end to look inside your colon and rectum for abnormalities such as tumors.