Colon cancer is one of the common malignant tumors of the digestive tract, ranking fifth among the most common cancers among Chinese people.
Early colon cancer often has a better prognosis, but unfortunately most people are already in the middle and late stages when discovered, making treatment difficult and the prognosis poor. Therefore, the prevention and early detection of colon cancer are very important.
How do we identify colon cancer? What symptoms will appear in the early stage? Today, "Ask the Doctor" will take you to find out.
Where is the colon? What is colon cancer?Our digestive system is composed of sections of tubes, from top to bottom, the mouth, esophagus, stomach, duodenum, small intestine, large intestine and rectum and anus.
The colon is located in the front section of the large intestine, connected to the small intestine above and the rectum below. Its main function is to absorb water, store and excrete feces. You must know that before entering the large intestine, feces are watery and shapeless.
The colon is divided into five parts from right to left: cecum, ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, and sigmoid colon (looks like a B).
Cancer that occurs in any part of the body is called colon cancer.
What are the early symptoms of colon cancer?(1) Change in bowel habitsFrequent defecation, diarrhea, constipation, alternating constipation and diarrhea, incomplete defecation, anus swelling, and changes in the shape of the stool (the stool becomes thinner, and the stool is discharged with pressure marks).
(2) Mucoid stool or mucopurulent bloody stool:
Due to the friction of feces, if the surface of the tumor in the intestinal cavity is penetrated and bleeding occurs, it is easy to produce light or light red bloody stools. Since early-stage tumors are relatively small, the incidence of bloody stools is relatively low, or only intermittent. occur.
(3) Abdominal bloating and indigestion:
When tumors in the colon develop to a certain extent, they can cause intestinal obstruction, abdominal distension, abdominal discomfort, and intermittent abdominal pain.
(4) Systemic symptoms such as anemia, low-grade fever, fatigue, edema, and unexplained weight loss:
These systemic symptoms are common manifestations of many cancers and even non-cancer diseases. They are not specific and are most easily ignored.
What are the causes of colon cancer?Like other cancers, the cause behind colon cancer is not clear, but some related risk factors have been initially clarified, including the following four points:
(1) Dietary habits: Colon cancer is a "rich cancer", and a diet high in animal protein, high fat, and low in dietary fiber is an important reason for the high incidence of colon cancer.
(2) Heredity: Although colon cancer is not a hereditary disease, it has a clear genetic tendency. People with a family history of colon cancer will have a significantly increased risk of colon cancer.
(3) Induced by some diseases: If certain precancerous intestinal lesions are not treated in time, they will also increase the risk of colon cancer, such as chronic ulcerative colitis, polyposis, adenoma, etc.
In addition, poor lifestyle factors such as prolonged sitting, lack of physical activity, obesity, and other factors will increase the risk of colon cancer.
How to detect colon cancer in its early stages?It is still not possible to judge early-stage colon cancer based on symptoms. The symptoms are mild and not specific. When some symptoms are obvious, the disease may be late.
The most reliable way to detect colon cancer early is to undergo colon cancer screening.
Theoretically, everyone is likely to suffer from colon cancer, but the cost is a bit high and it is a waste of resources. Therefore, screening for colon cancer is mainly focused on middle-aged and elderly people and high-risk groups.
Screening methods include a fecal occult blood test once a year and a colonoscopy every 10 years. In addition, you can also choose flexible sigmoidoscopy, colon CT, blood or stool DNA testing.
For high-risk groups with a history of adenomatous polyps, persistent inflammatory bowel disease, or first-degree relatives with colorectal cancer, screening should begin as early as possible.