What is colon cancer? And what are its symptoms? What are the symptoms of its onset? What is the difference between colon cancer symptoms and irritable bowel syndrome?
What is colon cancer?
Colon cancer is the growth of cancer cells in the colon, the long tube that helps carry digested food to the rectum.
Colon cancer develops from benign tumors, or colon polyps, in the inner lining of the colon. Health care providers undergo screening tests that detect precancerous polyps before they become cancerous.
Colon cancer that is not detected or treated can spread to other parts of the body. Thanks to early detection tests, early treatment and new types of treatment, fewer people are dying from colon cancer, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
What are the symptoms of early colon cancer?
Colon cancer may have no symptoms, especially in its early stages, so tests are good for finding polyps and early detection of colorectal cancer. If you’re over 50, regular colon cancer screening is advised, according to the King Hussein Cancer Center in Jordan.
Colon Cancer Symptoms
You can get colon cancer without showing any symptoms. If you have symptoms, you may not know if the changes in your body are signs of colon cancer, because some of the symptoms of colon cancer are similar to milder cases, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Common symptoms of colon cancer include:
blood in stool
Talk to your healthcare provider if you notice blood in the toilet after having a bowel movement or wiping yourself, or if the stool looks dark red or bright red. It is important to remember that the presence of blood in your stool does not mean that you have colon cancer. Other factors, such as hemorrhoids or beetroot consumption, can change the appearance of your stool. But it’s always a good idea to see your health care provider any time you notice blood in your stool.
Persistent changes in bowel habits (how do you poop?)
Tell your health care provider if you have constipation and/or persistent diarrhea, or if you feel like you still need to have a bowel movement after going to the bathroom.
Tell your health care provider if you have abdominal pain with no known cause that doesn’t go away or hurts a lot. Many things can cause abdominal pain, but it’s always a good idea to see your healthcare provider if you experience unusual or recurring abdominal pain.
Like abdominal pain, there are many things that can make you feel bloated. Talk to your healthcare provider if your flatulence lasts longer than a week, gets worse, or if you develop other symptoms such as vomiting or blood in or in your stool.
Unexplained weight loss
This is a noticeable decrease in your body weight when you are not trying to lose it.
Tell your health care provider if you vomit regularly for no known reason or if you vomit a lot in 24 hours.
Fatigue and feeling short of breath
These are symptoms of anemia, and anemia can be a sign of colon cancer.
How many years does a patient with colon cancer live?
For colon cancer, the 5-year survival rate for people is 64% overall.
If the cancer is diagnosed at a localized stage, the survival rate is 91%.
If the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or organs and/or nearby lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 72%.
But if colon cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 14 percent, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Cancer.net website.
Can colon cancer be cured permanently?
Colon cancer is a largely treatable disease and is often curable when localized in the intestines. Surgery is the main form of treatment and leads to a cure in 50% of patients, according to the National Cancer Institute in the United States.
Recurrence of disease after surgery is a major problem and is often the ultimate cause of death.
How does a colon cancer patient feel?
See Colon Cancer Symptoms section.
Colon cancer cure rate
As mentioned above, the 5-year survival rate of people is usually 64%.
The difference between colon cancer symptoms and irritable bowel syndrome
IBS can be difficult to diagnose; It’s not something a doctor can see, smell, or detect under a microscope, and the symptoms come and go. The main symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are constipation, diarrhea or a combination of both, accompanied by abdominal pain.
A person with IBS may also experience one or more of the following:
- mucus in the stool
- Feeling that you haven’t finished having a bowel movement (i.e. there is still stool in your bowels after a bowel movement)
- Symptoms lessen after defecation
On the other hand, diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain are all symptoms of colon cancer, but there are other more concerning symptoms, such as:
- Sudden and unexplained weight loss
- Rectal bleeding
- blood in stool
- Discomfort or urge to defecate when not needed
- Bloating or feeling full all the time
- Change in appetite
Symptoms of Colon Cancer in Women
See Colon Cancer Symptoms section.
Does colon cancer spread quickly?
In general, colorectal cancers tend to grow slowly, gradually grow larger, and eventually penetrate the intestinal wall. When it spreads, it is usually by invasion of nearby lymph nodes. In fact, cancer cells can enter a lymph node even before the tumor penetrates the intestinal wall, and the most common sites of distant metastasis are the liver, lungs and brain, according to the website of the National Cancer Foundation.
Colon cancer treatment
According to the King Hussein Cancer Center, treatment for colon cancer may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, monoclonal antibody therapy, and post-treatment care.
Surgery is not effective for patients with advanced stages of colon cancer that has spread, in which case doctors resort to palliative care.
Leave a Reply