Colon cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the large intestine, the final part of the digestive tract. Primarily affecting older adults, it often begins as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called polyps that form inside the colon. Over time, some of these polyps can become colon cancers. Colon cancer is highly treatable if diagnosed early.
Early stages of colon cancer don't always produce symptoms. When they do appear, they may include:
·Changes in bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool.·Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool.·Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas, or pain.·A feeling that your bowel doesn't empty.·Weakness or fatigue.·Unexplained weight loss.
Several factors may increase your risk of developing colon cancer, including:
·Older age, typically over 50 years.·African-American race.·A personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps.·Inflammatory intestinal conditions.·Inherited syndromes that increase colon cancer risk.·Family history of colon cancer and colon polyps.·Low-fiber, high-fat diet.·A sedentary lifestyle.·Diabetes.·Obesity.·Smoking.·Alcohol.·Radiation therapy for cancer.
Prevention of colon cancer often involves these steps:
Screening for colon cancer starts around age 50.Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.Drinking alcohol in moderation, or not at all.Quitting smoking.Exercising most days of the week.Maintaining a healthy weight.
Certain dietary choices and nutrients might help reduce the risk of colon cancer:
Fiber from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.Dairy products and calcium supplements might have some protective effects.Limiting red meat and avoiding processed meats.Consider a diet rich in whole foods instead of processed foods.
A healthy lifestyle that supports overall wellness can also help prevent colon cancer:
Regular physical activity.Avoiding smoking.Moderate alcohol consumption.Weight management.
Colon cancer prevention is possible through a combination of lifestyle changes, regular screenings, and being aware of early symptoms. Early detection greatly increases the chances of successful treatment and survival.
ReferencesMedical Journals: Journals like The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and Gastroenterology provide peer-reviewed articles and studies on cancer research.
Health Organizations: Websites and publications from organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Cancer Society, and National Cancer Institute offer reliable information and guidelines.
Textbooks and Medical Books: Standard medical textbooks such as "Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease" or "Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine" often provide comprehensive information on various cancers, including colon cancer.