Having any type of illness is sad, but having cancer is unimaginable. There are many types of cancer, and a person can develop any one of them, be it skin, colon, liver or brain cancer among others.
Early diagnosis and treatment of some types of cancer can cure the disease completely. For this reason, it is important for everyone to be aware of the signs and symptoms of different types of illnesses so that they can consult a doctor before it is too late.
The human digestive system is divided into a number of sections starting with the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestines, duodenum, colon and ends with the rectum. The colon is what makes up the large intestines.
It measures between five to six feet in adults. The colon is where absorption of water, minerals and nutrients into the bloodstream is completed and waste removed from the system in form of stool.
Colon cancer hampers the ability of the digestive system to effectively perform its functions. The signs of the disease can therefore be observed in the digestive system.
It is important to note that the signs of cancer in the colon do not usually manifest until the disease has progressed. Medical practitioners and health experts recommend that high risk individuals should go for screening on a regular basis so that the disease can be diagnosed early on, when it is still easy to treat; before it becomes a serious problem.
High risk individuals include: those who are aged over 50 years; and individuals who have the disease in their family history. An important point to note is that colon cancer affects both men and women. However, there is a common misconception that it mostly affects men.
The signs and symptoms of the disease can be divided into two broad categories; local and systemic symptoms. The former refers to symptoms that affect the colon itself as well as the bathroom habits of an individual.
For instance, a person who has the disease may start going to the toilet more frequently or less often. They may also experience some bloating, stomach cramps, and abdominal gas pains.
Intermittent diarrhea and constipation are also strong signs that you may be developing the illness. A common sign of colon cancer is always having the feeling that you cannot properly empty your bowels.
Rectal bleeding is also very common in people who have the disease. If you experience any of these signs and symptoms for several days, then you want to schedule an appointment with your doctor to have your concerns addressed.
In addition to the local signs and symptoms of colon cancer, a person may also experience systemic signs. Unexplained weight loss is often reported by the vast majority of people who are diagnosed with colon cancer.
This usually goes hand in hand with lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting and unexplained fatigue. Anemia and jaundice are also common symptoms of colon cancer.
By simply observing a patient and analyzing the signs and symptoms they provide, any doctor can diagnose the illness. However, a colon cancer test may be required for accurate diagnosis.
The doctor will prescribe and administer the right treatment depending on a number of factors including the size of the tumor. Some of the available treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Biological therapy can also be used to destroy cancerous cells.
In this method, monoclonal antibodies are introduced into the body intravenously. The antibodies move through the digestive system and destroy any cancerous cells they come across. It is important to note that some therapies are only used to treat the symptoms and alleviate the pain, not to cure the disease.
Ignoring the signs and symptoms of any disease can have some grave consequences. Many illnesses become more severe and harder to treat in their later stages of development.
Walking through the colon.
For this reason, early diagnosis is important. For this to happen, high risk individuals, need to go for screening on a regular basis. On the other hand, any person who experiences signs and symptoms that may be related to colon cancer should seek medical attention urgently. Once diagnosed, the disease can be treated easily.
Colon cancer signs as well as their severity may vary from one person to another, so regular screening and colon tests are recommended.