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Colon Cancer

Colon, more commonly known as the large intestine is where the body draws out water and salt from solid wastes. The waste then goes through the rectum and is secreted out. Colon cancer is a malignant tumor that arises from the inner wall of the colon. It can happen at any age but affects older adults more often than younger ones. It usually begins as small, benign clumps of cells, called Polyps inside the colon.

Causes of Colon Cancer

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Excessive consumption of processed meat, and saturated fats
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Prior history of bowel diseases
  • Genetic syndromes like familial adenmatous polyposis

Symptoms of Colon Cancer

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Persistent cramps and pain
  • Weakness
  • Persistent change in your bowel habits (Diarrhoea or constipation)
  • Unexplained weight loss

Prevention of Colon Cancer

  • Consume plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
  • Limit the consumption of red meat and saturated fats
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid smoking

Diagnosis of Colon Cancer

  • Colonoscopy – This method uses a long, flexible tube attached to a video camera and monitor to view the colon and rectum
  • Blood tests – Doctors test the blood to check the overall health, such as kidney and liver functions. They also look for a chemical that’s sometimes produced by the colon cancer
  • CT Scans

Treatment of Colon Cancer

  • Surgery – Different types of surgeries can be performed for colon cancer, depending on factors like the stage of cancer, the location of it, and other complications involved
  • Chemotherapy – It uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. This therapy is usually done after the surgery has been performed or if cancer has spread to lymph nodes. It may kill any cells that remain in the body after the surgery and reduce the risk of recurrence
  • Radiation Therapy – This therapy uses high-power beams to destroy the cancer cells. It can also be done to shrink larger cancer tumors before the surgery so the removal becomes easier. It can also be used in combination with chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy – It is a drug treatment that uses the patient’s immune system to fight cancer. Sometimes the immune system fails to recognize the cancer cells and might not attack them. Immunotherapy interferes with this situation and makes the immune system fight the cancer cells
  • Targeted Therapy – This treatment focuses on specific abnormalities with drugs that are specifically designed for molecules that help the cancer cells grow