When the cells lining in the colon or rectum starts getting abnormal and start growing beyond control then chances are it is colon cancer. A patient might not experience the symptoms until cancer gets advanced. Therefore you must go for colon cancer screening at regular intervals.
What is colon cancer?
Cancer in the colon is known as colon cancer and in the rectum is known as rectal cancer. Cancer affecting any of these organs is referred to as colorectal cancer.
Colona cancer begins in the large intestine of the body. The final part of the digestive tract is known as the colon.
Usually, it occurs in adults but it is not necessary as a person can get affected by colon cancer at any age. It starts with the formation of clumps of cells known as polyps inside the colon. With time these polyps get converted into colon cancer.
There are several treatments for colon cancer for controlling it and helping the patient to get relief from it. Treatment likes radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy.
Stages of colon cancer
Stage 0: In this stage cancer has not spread more than in the inner layer of the colon. Treatment of cancer is easy in this stage.
Stage 1: Cancer has begun to spread in the next layers of tissues.
Stage 2: Cancer has been spread to the outer layers of the colon but has not gone beyond the colon.
Stage 3: From the outer layer of the colon cancer gets spread to lymph nodes.
Stage 4: Cancer has been spread beyond the colon. After this stage cancer reaches other body parts as well.
Symptoms of colon cancer
- Experiencing frequent changes in your bowel movements including constipation or diarrhea.
- The appearance of blood in stool
- Feeling abdominal discomfort continuously like gas, cramps, or pain
- Weight loss and weakness
- Feeling like you have not passed the complete stool
There are chances that people do not experience any symptoms in the beginning. Depending on the size of cancer and its location in the intestine the symptoms may vary.
When you should see a doctor?
If you are experiencing symptoms continuously you might need to see a doctor. You can ask your specialist to start with colon cancer screening. If you have a family history of such diseases then you might be asked for frequent screening.