Colon Cancer and its Screening

Colon Cancer and its Screening

Colon cancer, as the name indicates, is the one that occurs in the colon – a part in the gastrointestinal tract where final digestion takes place. Mostly it occurs in people aged above 50. But it can occur in any age group. A polyp in the colon can also turn cancerous anytime. Therefore if you have any diagnosed polyp in the large intestine, you should keep it monitored. For screening, you must visit your healthcare provider.

Sometimes the doctors may remove non-cancerous polyps from your intestine through surgery as they can become cancerous anytime.

There are many treatment options for colon cancer, especially if it is diagnosed early. Therefore you should never ignore any signs and symptoms of colon cancer as early detection can help save lives. Sometimes a colon cancer is known as colorectal cancer – when it involves the rectum. For any radiological examination, you can get an X-ray in Islamabad done.

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of colon cancer are;

  • Diarrhea and constipation alternatively
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Blood in stool
  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Feeling that bowel has not emptied completely
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Hemorrhoids

If you have any of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms, you should visit the healthcare provider soon for screening.

Risk Factors

The risk factors for colon cancer are;

Diet

Eating food rich in fats, oils, and sugar can make you obese and put you at risk of developing colon cancer. Therefore you should eat a balanced diet that contains all the nutrition in an adequate quantity.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

People having inflammatory bowel disease are at risk of developing colon cancer. The risk is less in the first ten years of the disease. But it increases up to 0.5 to 1% with each passing year.

Smoking

Smoking cigarettes can increase the risk of colon cancer many folds.

Polyps

Having preexisting polyp- non-cancerous growth in the intestinal mucosa that occurs due to impaired DNA repair mechanism increases the risk of colon cancer. If you are diagnosed with polyps, you should attend follow-up visits for screening tests.

Family History

Having a family history of colon cancer or polyps increases the risk of developing colon cancer.

Diagnosis

Early diagnosis of colon cancer can help prevent its spread in the form of metastasis to other parts of the body. It can be done through the following tests;

guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT)

FIT test and FIT-DNA tests

Colonoscopy- is the final tool for the detection of colon cancer. In the procedure, a tube is inserted into the rectum, and an inspection of the colon is done. If any polyps are found, the doctors may remove them and send them for a biopsy.

Screening

After the age of 50, you should get screening tests done regularly. However, before the age of 50, if you are at high risk, you should also get screening tests done. You should visit your healthcare provider on time if you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms or are diagnosed with polyps.

Conclusion

Colon cancer is an uncontrolled growth of cells that starts in the colon. It can also include rectum- the condition known as colorectal cancer. Early detection of colon cancer can be done through regular screening tests, which can in turn, make its treatment easy and successful. For any radiological examination, you can get an MRI in Islamabad done.