Williams Cancer Institute

Colon Cancer

WHAT IS COLON CANCER?

Colon cancer also known as colorectal cancer begins in the large intestine, the colon and it can also be seen at the end of the colon, which would be the rectum. Since these two have common features, they are oftentimes referred to as colorectal cancer. In many patients, cancer will begin as small growths called polyps that form in the inner lining of either colon or rectum.

Causes

As mentioned previously, polyps that are found in the colon or rectum are what give rise to colorectal cancer. The larger the polyp gets, the riskier it is to develop into cancer. Finding multiple polyps can also increase the risk of developing cancer.

Symptoms

In order to fully conclude that the symptoms one is experiencing are directly linked to colorectal cancer, it is best to get screened by your physician. Many of the symptoms related to colorectal cancer are very common in patients with certain bowel illnesses such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, or hemorrhoids.

  • These symptoms include the following:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abnormal change in bowel movements
  • Blood in stool
  • Increase in fatigue and weakness

Risk factors

Poor diet, lack of physical activity, and genetic constitution can all lead to developing colorectal cancer. Once polyps are found in the colon or rectum, then this will highly increase the risk of them developing into cancer.

Prevention

Although there is no absolute way of preventing cancer, getting routine check-ups and screenings will help in reducing the risk of developing cancer. Physicians recommend anyone of 45 years or older get screened routinely. Partaking in daily physical activity, eating wholesome balanced nutrition, and managing stress are some other simple ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle and minimize the risks of cancer attacking the body.

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