Colon cancer or colorectal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the colon.
It is the cancer of the large intestine or the colon the part of digestive system.
It starts by the formation of the clumps of cells resulting from the abnormal growth and multiplication which are termed as polyps.
The presence of these polyps is considered a high risk for developing colon cancer as later these polyps turn cancerous. The identification of these polyps can be done by regular screening tests. As initially these polyps show no colon cancer symptoms or very few symptoms detection becomes rather difficult.
To avoid any further complications and predict the formation of these polyps screening tests can be performed in people with high chances of developing the disease. The removal of these polyps helps to avoid the development of cancer.
Causes of Colon Cancer or Colorectal Cancer
As mentioned the polyps are the major cause of colon cancer. There are different types of polyps which are responsible for the development of the disease. The main types of polyps which form the cause of colon cancer are
- Adenomas: These polyps usually are removed during screening tests which involves the sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy which are flexible. They have a high potential of turning cancerous.
- Hyperplastic polyps: These are the rare form of polyps which form a risk factor for colon cancer or colorectal cancer if occur.
- Inflammatory polyps: These polyps may follow about of ulcerative colitis. Some inflammatory polyps may become cancerous, so having ulcerative colitis increases the overall risk of colon cancer or colorectal cancer
Colon Cancer or Colorectal Cancer Prognosis
Prognosis is a chance of recovery. Certain factors affect prognosis and colon cancer treatment options. The colon cancer or colorectal cancer prognosis (chance of recovery) depends on the following:
- Colon cancer or colorectal cancer prognosis mostly depends on the stage of the cancer (whether the cancer is in the inner lining of the colon only, involves the whole colon, or has spread to other places in the body).
- The prognosis depends on whether the cancer has blocked or created a hole in the colon.
- The blood levels of carcinoembryonic antigen before treatment begins.
- Depends on whether the cancer has recurred or not.
- The patient’s general health and the overall condition of the patient.
If the patient’s colon cancer or colorectal cancer does not come back or recur within 5 years, then it is considered to be cured. This is because colon cancer or colorectal cancer rarely comes back after 5 years. Stage I, II, and III cancers are considered potentially curable. In most cases, stage IV cancer is not curable.
Colorectal Cancer or Colon Cancer Prevention Measures
The most encouraging news about colon cancer or colorectal cancer is that one can actually reduce the risk by having regular screenings. That’s because with regular screening, one can have polyps removed before they have a chance to turn into colon cancer or colorectal cancer.
Few simple changes in the diet and lifestyle reduce the risk of developing the colon cancer or colorectal cancer. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Say no to fat products, limit fat consumption and add vitamins and minerals to your diet.
Calcium and folic acid is also good for health. Alcohol consumption should be controlled and quit smoking. Overweight should not be entertained. These preventive measures help to a large extent to fight against colon cancer or colorectal cancer.
When eating with your digestive system in mind, fiber is an important nutrient that cannot be overlooked. Fiber can also be a great, all natural way to keep the colon clean. Patients who have experienced polypus in the past and who are considering using fiber in higher concentrations to cleanse their colon should consult with their doctor.