Do you notice frequent changes in your bowel movement? Have you found traces of blood in your stool? They could be early signs of colorectal cancer. Colon cancer or colorectal cancer is a form of cancerous growth that first begins in the colon area (large intestine). This type of cancer may be benign (harmless) or malignant.
Early Symptoms of Colon Cancer
It is noted that most people who develop colon cancer exhibit no signs or symptoms during the early stages. Symptoms also depend on the actual size of the cancer and its exact location. Rectal cancer early stage symptoms can cause bleeding and the proof of blood traces can be found during chemical analysis of the stool. The bleeding is said to be caused by growing tumors.
Typical Signs of Colon Cancer Include:
- A significant change in your otherwise regular bowel habits (constipation or diarrhea)
- Finding blood traces in your stool
- Persistent pain or discomfort in the abdomen
- Incomplete bowel movement
- Sudden weight loss
- Experiencing weakness
Colon cancer may develop at any age, but normally affects mostly elderly people. It develops slowly from a small benign growth called polyps that are formed on the inner part of the large intestine. Gradually, some of the polyps become cancerous.
The sigmoid colon is also known as the pelvic colon. It is the last or ending part of the large intestine, one that is nearest to the rectum and anus. It is a significant and terminal part of the large intestine, which connects the colon to the rectum. The primary function of the sigmoid colon is to stock the fecal wastes until the time they are ready to be evacuated from the body. It has a curved shape like the letter 'S'.
Colon is a term used for the large intestine in the human body. While the cecum is the first part of the colon, the other parts of the colon are sub-divided into four major parts:
- Ascending colon that travels upwards to the right side of the abdominal region
- Traverse colon that runs across the abdominal region
- Descending colon that travels downwards to the left abdominal region
- Sigmoid colon, a curving side that is closest to the rectum.
Colon Cancer Stages Include:
The earliest phase colon cancers are referred to as stage 0, then you have ranges starting from stage I, stage II, stage III, and stage IV. The stages are verified by numbers. When the numbers are lower, it means the spread of cancer is very less. Highest numbers are found in stage IV phase. Patients with similar stages are mostly treated identically.
Colon Cancer Treatment
The treatment procedures depend on the nature of cancer and its stage. After assessing the overall health of the patient, cancer specialists may recommend surgical removal, radiation or chemotherapy. A team of cancer experts such as colon surgeons, oncologists, gastroenterologists, radiation oncologists, gynecologists, urologists, and radiologists may collaborate together during the treatment.
Surgery may be required to remove early-stage cancer. It can include removal of the polyps using colonoscopy, endoscopic resection or laparoscopic surgery. For a more advanced stage of colon cancer, doctors may recommend partial colectomy, ostomy or lymph node removal.
Very advanced stage of colon cancer may require chemotherapy sessions to destroy the cancer cells, radiation to eliminate the cancerous cells, an immunotherapy that involves working on the immune system to fight against cancer, and targeted drug remedies that fights the abnormalities present inside the cancer cells.
Transverse Colon Pain
The transverse colon is a vital lengthy part located in the upper region of the large intestine. The transverse colon is also susceptible to cancerous growth and tumors. The formation of cancerous bodies is often preceded by polyps or other abnormal growths. Transverse colon pain may be experienced on the lower side of the stomach or abdomen. In most cases, the cancerous growth is surgically removed.
Colon Cancer Survival Rate Statistics 2018
Colon cancer or colorectal cancer is the 3rd most common type of cancer diagnosed in the United States. Colon cancer is detected in older adults, but even younger people can be affected by this form of cancer. In 2018, it was reported that 51,020 people died due to colon cancer out of which 27,640 were men and 23, 380 were women. Colorectal cancer is said to be one of the leading causes of death due to cancer in the USA.
Stage I colorectal cancer can be cured if given timely medical treatment and since 2016, there has been a significant decrease in the death rates. This can be attributed to the modern and advanced treatment and screening technology facilities offered to patients. Some tests help detect the deadly colorectal changes even before they slowly start to turn cancerous. It was reported in a 2018 survey that there are close to one million brave colon cancer survivors in America.
What is colon cancer pain like?
Colon cancer pain can mirror a severe stomach ache. The pain is intense and there may be long-lasting abdominal discomfort.
Can you survive colon cancer?
There is an 80-90% chance of survival for stage 1 patients. Stage II cancer survivors range from 55% to 80%. Stage III rectal cancer gives only a 40% chance of cure and lastly, the stage IV tumor patients have only 10% survival chances.
Where is the first place colon cancer spreads?
Cancer usually spreads via the bloodstream or the lymph nodes. In the case of colon cancer, it spreads to the peritoneum (abdominal lining), liver, and lungs.