All You Need To Know About Colorectal Cancer

The development of cancerous cells inside the colon of the large intestine is colorectal cancer or colon cancer.

Structures and roles of large intestine parts

Large intestines of the human body primarily deal with the absorption of water, minerals, and salts and exclude non-useful products. The large intestine has the cecum, ascending colon, descending colon, transverse colon, sigmoid colon, and rectum that help in the absorption of minerals and excretion of waste substances. The cecum is a small mucous membranous organ that absorbs water, salts, and minerals by mixing the content received from the small intestine with mucus. The colon is a small organ of the large intestine that converts food and digestive juices into the stool. It also reabsorbs electrolytes. The rectum is a straight chamber of the large intestine that stores the fecal matter and helps in its excretion.

What Is Colorectal Cancer?

The development of cancerous cells inside the colon of the large intestine is colorectal cancer or colon cancer. The presence of clumps of cells called polyps inside the colon leads to the development of cancer of the colon. This can be treated through surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, and medications. Colorectal cancer diagnoses are by imaging of colon samples during colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. Colostomy can help to remove small polyps. For large tumors, a biopsy is necessary. Streptococcus gallolyticus and Streptococcus equinus are the two bacterias that potentially cause colon cancer.

Causes of Colorectal Cancer 

Age

Multiple factors contribute to the development of benign tumors in the colon. Research studies show that the age of the patient determines the development of colorectal cancer in particular. People with an age of more than 50 years are at an elevated risk of developing colon cancer.

Inflammation in intestines

The presence of inflammatory intestinal conditions developed due to Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis can also lead to colon cancer.

History of polyps

A person who already suffered from non-cancerous colon polyps is at a greater risk of developing colorectal cancer in the future. If any radiation therapy had been used to treat previous cancer, the person is likely to develop polyps inside the colon.

Desk-bounded lifestyle

Studies have shown that people who have a sedentary lifestyle, who are inactive most of the time, and who do not get any regular physical exercise develop colorectal cancer at an elevated rate. Obesity also contributes to the increased risk of colorectal cancer.

Diabetic patients

They are at a higher risk of developing polyps (clumps of cells) inside the colon due to insulin resistance.

Unbalanced Diet

People with a non-nutritious diet can develop colon cancer and rectal cancer very easily. Generally, food items low in fiber, high in fat, and high in calories contribute to the development of cancerous elements in the colon.

Hereditary factors

History of genetic disorders in the family such as adenomatous polyposis, Gardner syndrome, and hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer amplifies the risk of developing colon cancer.

Symptoms of Colorectal Colon 

Colon cancer can be detected by the presence of abnormal bowel movements such as constipation, diarrhoea, and inconsistency in the stool. Sometimes, patients suffering from colorectal cancer feel incomplete waste removal and abdominal pain. Abnormal changes in weight, unexplained weakness and the presence of rectal bleeding or blood in stool indicate the presence of cancer in the colon. A decrease in stool caliber and worsening constipation problems are a clear indicator of colon cancer.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure 

Bringing changes in everyday lifestyle can help in the reduction of the risk of developing colon cancer. Consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, minerals, fibers, antioxidants, and good cholesterol can be extremely beneficial to prevent colon cancer. Limiting the intake of alcohol and smoking can be two factors that help to reduce the chances of cancerous cells incised colon in both men and women. Maintaining weight is one essential part. Hence, to overcome the problem of obesity in people having sedentary lifestyles is important. Exercising every day for 30 minutes can be a great way to reduce the chances of colon cancer.

Detection of Colorectal Cancer 

Colorectal cancer can be discovered using medical imaging- CT scan of chest, abdomen, and pelvis. In some cases, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) can also be used. The tumor can also be diagnosed through histopathological biopsy or surgery. Therefore, Colon tumor staging on the TNM system can be detected to discover metastases in lymph nodes.

Conclusion 

The presence of cancerous clumps of cells called polyps inside the colon leads to the development of colorectal cancer. The detection takes place by various signs and symptoms such as constipation, unexplained weakness, diarrhoea, and inconsistency in the stool. Along with the reduction in stool caliber, abnormal changes in weight, and blood in the fecal matter. Colorectal cancer can develop due to older age, hereditary factors, unhealthy diet, alcoholism, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, and intestinal inflammation.

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