What is Colon?
Colon is a component of digestive system, in which the waste objects are stored. 1 end of the Colon is Rectum and the other end is Anus. These ends are joined together to make a long Muscular Tube that is known as Large Intestine or Large Bowel. The length of this tube is about 4 feet. This tube is extended from the end of small Intestine to the Anus, it is twisted and turn through the Abdomen.
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There are following 3 functions of Colon
- It digests and takes up nutrients from food.
- To makes Fecal material by absorption of fluid from it.
- It helps to store and controls the exit of Fecal material.
What is Colon Cancer?
Cancer is the change of normal cells. These changed cells grow and multiply strangely. Cancers are dangerous because of their uncontrolled growth. They can affect other healthy cells and tissues by captivating their Oxygen, Nutrients and Space.
The Cancer of Colon and Rectum arises from the inner wall of large Intestine. The Benign Tumor of large Intestine is also known as Polyps. The Malignant Tumor of large Intestine is known as Cancer. The Benign Polyps do not spread to the nearest tissues and the other parts of body. The Benign Tumor can be removed from the body by Colonscopy. These Tumor cells are not dangerous for the life. If these Tumor cells are not removed from the Large Intestine, they can convert in to Malignant with the passage of time. Most of the Cancers of large Intestine are developed from Polyps. The Cancer cells of Colon or Rectum can spread to the other parts of body including Liver, Brain, Bones and Lungs to form Tumors there too. If Metastasis occurred, proper cure of Colon Cancer is necessary.
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In United States, almost 1 in 17 people are suffering from Colorectal Cancer. According to the research of National Cancer Institute, the Colon Cancer is t3rd most common Cancer in men of United States. It is the 2nd most common Cancer in women of United States, 3rd most common in White and African American women.
The Colon Cancer increased until 1985 and it began to decrease at an average rate of 1.6% every year.
Death rate from Colon Cancer is at 3rd place after Lung and Prostate Cancer in men and 3rd after Lung and Breast Cancer in women throughout the world.
Causes of Colon Cancer
There are many causes of Colon Cancer that are risky for one’s life. Most of the Colon Cancer is occurred from Adenomatous Polyps- Clusters of strange cells in the Glands that are present in the inner wall of Colon.
People suffering from the conditions known as Adenomatous Polyps Syndrome have more risk of Colon Cancer.
Following are the causes of Colon Cancer
This Cancer mostly occurs before the age of 40 years.
If anyone in the family like mother, father, sister or brother has this disease then the chances of this disorder increases from 3-4% in the next generation. The risk of Colon Cancer is 2-3 times greater in the people with first-degree relative with Colon Cancer.
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Diseases Increase the Risk of Colon Cancer
Following diseases increase the risk of Colon Cancer
Chronic Ulcerative Colitis
It is a burning condition of Colon. People in this section have disease for more than 10 years.
It is an inflammatory disease of Gastrointestinal Tract. This disease increases the risk of Colon Cancer.
Other Types of Cancers
People suffering from Breast, Uterine or Ovarian Cancer have increased risk of Colon Cancer.
Inherited Colorectal Cancer Syndrome
This Syndrome can develop in young people, in their 30s or even in more young age.
Diet plays an important role in building Colon Cancer. Consuming diet high in Fat and low in Fiber can lead to Colon Cancer. Some studies show that exercise and diet including fruits and vegetables can prevent Colon Cancer.
Obesity is also a known risk for Colon Cancer.
Smoking Cigarettes can increase the risk of Colon Cancer in human beings.
Effects of Drugs
Latest studies have shown that some drugs can contribute in causing Colon Cancer.
Symptoms of Colon Cancer
There are various symptoms of Colon Cancer depending on the factors like the location of Cancer, any spread in the Cancer and the size of Tumor etc. people suffering from this disease experience no symptoms at the early stages of the disease. The symptoms may include:
- Blood in Stool
- Narrow Stool
- Rectal Bleeding
- Abdominal Pain
- Gas in Abdomen
- Pain in moving Bowel
- Pale Skin
- Weight loss
- Enlarged Belly
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Pain in Rectum
- Ribbon-like Stools
- Feeling of incomplete evacuation of Stool
Studies reveal that the average duration of symptoms is 14 Weeks. There is no link between duration of symptoms and stage of Tumor.
Diagnosis of Colon Cancer
It is usually diagnosed with the Fecal Blood Test. The samples of Stool are given to lab for the detection of Blood in Stool.
The large Tumors can block the passage of Colon.
Treatment of Colon Cancer
The treatment of Colon Cancer depends on the factors like kind of Cancer, stage of Cancer, age, health condition and characteristics of a patient. The treatment of Cancer consists of Surgery, Chemotherapy and Radiation therapy etc.
The surgery that is used to remove the whole part of Colon is known as Colectomy. The nearest Lymph Nodes are also removed. Depending on the extent of Colrectomy, the Colon is attached to the Rectum or to the opening in the wall of Abdomen known as Stoma.
Another option for the treatment of Colon Cancer is Colostomy; the waste material leaves the body through Stoma into the Colostomy bag rather than exiting from Rectum.
In chemotherapy, chemicals are used destroy the Cancerous cells. Side effects of Chemotherapy may include Vomiting, Nausea, Hair Loss, Mouth sores and Diarrhea.
Radiation therapy is used to kill the Cancerous cells with the help of high-energy rays.
Colon Cancer is a common disease in the world. It is the need that people should be aware of it. The cure of this disease is possible and in time treatment can save many lives.