Colon cancer is cancer that begins in the large intestine (colon). The colon is the last part of the digestive tract. It usually affects older adults, but it can happen at any age. They begin with benign non-cancerous clumps of cells known as polyps, which are formed inside the colon. With time, some of these polyps can become colon cancers. These polyps are usually small and produce less or very few symptoms, which is why doctors recommend removing polyps to help in preventing colon cancer.
Colon cancer is also known as colorectal cancer, which is made of the two terms, colon cancer and rectal cancer.
1) The DNA of a cell is an instruction set for the cell. Colon cancer begins when these healthy cells in the colon bring about changes in their DNA through mutations. Usually, healthy cells grow and divide in a rough manner for the smooth functioning of one’s body but when the DNA of cell changes or is damaged, it becomes cancerous. Cells keep on dividing, even when they are not required. This group of cells then form a tumour which destroys other cells and travels to other parts of the body.
2) Diseases of the colon can also increase the risk of having colon cancer. These diseases include chronic inflammatory diseases of the colon like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
3) Gene syndromes are also one less likely cause of colon cancer. The common gene inherited syndromes that can cause colon cancer is Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) and Lynch syndrome, also known as Hereditary Non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC).
4) Diet can also be one of the causes of colon cancer as the colon is a part of the digestive system. A typical western diet with low fibre and high fat can also cause colon cancer.
5) A sedentary lifestyle is not good for body anyway and is found to be a cause for colon cancer too.
6) Diabetes and Obesity are considered to be the diseases that accompany colon cancer or become its predecessor.
7) Radiation therapy directed especially to the abdomen can also be one of the reasons for colon cancer because of the high energy element exposure.
The symptoms of colon cancer are –
Change in Bowel habits: A persistent change in your bowel habits, including chronic diarrhea or constipation
Bleeding: Bleeding in the stool or rectal bleeding can also be another symptom of colon cancer.
Abdominal Discomfort: Any pain in the abdominal region or gas, that causes discomfort can also be a sign of colon cancer.
Weakness or Fatigue: Feeling tired all the time or experiencing weakness can be a symptom.
Unexplained Weight Loss: Losing weight without knowing the reason or always having a feeling that the bowel is not empty can point to a symptom. Irritable bowel Syndrome generally occurs before colon cancer.
Iron Deficiency Anaemia: Due to bleeding in stool, there are chances of anaemia that can also be one potential symptom of colon cancer.
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