Breaking Down the Facts of Colon Cancer

Colon Cancer
Colon Cancer

When cells in our body divide without proper control then they become abnormal. This is when cancer occurs. Cells in our body have to divide and produce new cells to keep it functioning properly. But extra cells that have no use for our bodies become a mass of tissues. This mass of tissue is what doctors would diagnose a tumor. This can be malignant or benign. A benign tumor is not life-threatening. A surgical procedure usually removes this without the problem of recurring. However, a malignant tumor is cancerous. It spreads to other parts of the body and can form the same kind of cancer cells.

Our colon stores the waste material of our bodies. The part connected at the end of our colon is called Rectum. They form our large intestine. A tumor begins when there’s a mass of extra tissues growing inside our large intestine. A non-cancerous accumulation of cells is called polyps. A procedure called colonoscopy can remove these clumps of cells. They don’t spread to the nearby parts of our large intestine so it is considered harmless. However, if polyps go undetected and allowed to grow and multiply, they become what we call colon cancer. When metastasis or the spreading of cancerous cells to other parts of the body like the lungs and liver happen, it is impossible to cure. It is believed that colon cancer affects 112,000 people every year.

Although colon cancer is not contagious it can be inherited. Since the colon is part of our digestive system, a person’s diet is a huge contributing factor to this disease. Aside from family history, a diet high in fat is said to be the biggest cause of this kind of cancer. When a person consumes a lot of fat, his body starts storing up carcinogens. A carcinogen is a chemical that causes cancer. On the other hand, a balanced diet with a high intake of vegetables and other foods rich in fiber helps flush carcinogens out of our bodies. Physical exercise not only makes you look fit but it also helps get rid of our body’s waste material. Smoking, alcohol, obesity also encourages the development of colon cancer.

A person should start worrying when he experiences unusual weakness, questionable alteration in bowel habits, weight loss, and other drastic changes in his health. Symptoms of colon cancer are not immediately felt so if a person does not undergo regular medical check-up, it may be too late before the cancer is detected. If you spot blood in your stool it is an indication that there might be something wrong with your colon. See your doctor immediately even if you’re age range is well-below the scientifically proven age that is more likely to develop this kind of cancer. Early screening will probably save your life. If your family has a history of any kind of cancer, a regular check-up is advised because you are likely to develop a terminal disease.

Treatments of this kind of cancer include chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. Depending on your stage of cancer, surgery is usually the doctor’s route to curing the disease. Chemotherapy and radiation are initiated after surgery when the tumor has penetrated deep into your colon and if it has spread to other parts of the body. A person is prone to this disease when he is 50 and above. Regular screening for any kind of cancer should be done at this stage. It can be embarrassing and awkward but discussing the different options with your doctor will help you select the kind of test that you might be comfortable with. There are also certain kinds of drugs that you can take that might prevent you from developing this kind of cancer so you might want to ask your doctor about them. Remember that early detection is the key to curing any kind of terminal disease. Group support in your community may also be available so you might want to look that up if anybody in your family is affected.