Friday, September 18, 2020

Colon Cancer Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

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Colon Cancer and Progression (quick guide)

Malignant colon cancer signs and symptoms are not always noticed right away. That is because the signs do not show up until the disease progresses.

Still, no matter what stage of cancer development the cancer has taken place in a patient’s body it can be identified. The goal is to notice the symptoms before it is too late and there is nothing that can be done.

Identifying Symptoms

The symptoms you experience may depend upon the stage of cancerous progression. One of the most common would be iron deficiency anemia that results from slow and progressive intestinal blood loss.

You would know if you are anemic if you feel extremely fatigued all the time even after getting a good night sleep. If you have blood in your stool it could be a result of loss of blood from your colon as a result of cancer developing.

Additional colon cancer symptoms include the following:

  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Narrow or stringy stools
  • Frequent lower abdomen tenderness
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Frequent or increased diarrhea or constipation
  • Unexplained weight loss

The above symptoms do not mean you have cancer necessarily. However, if you experience any one or more of these for more than a few days, you ought to consult your physician.

You should talk to a health profession, and you should do it immediately. It truly is better to be safe than to be sorry. At the very advanced stages this condition only has about a 5% to 10% survival rate so you could be saving your life if you get screened.

Screening

Colon cancer signs are sometimes detected using fecal occult blood checks. For this test stool’s sample is examined from the laboratory for detection on the blood.

However, a variety of other tests such as a colonoscopy or a lymph node biopsy may be needed. You should ask your doctor about all your options when seeking treatment.

Prevention

Part of prevention is receiving frequent screenings. It is recommended that these start at age 50 to ensure early detection. It can also help ensure that the best colon cancer treatment is administered if there is a problem.

Regular screening guidelines are similar for men as they are for women. By most reputable medical standards, once every six months to a year for affect patients may be recommended. For healthy people screenings may be recommended once every two or three years.

Colon Cancer Full Guide

Colon Cancer Symptoms Identification

Colon cancer symptoms identification can be challenging. The signs of it are often mistaken for other minor medical difficulties.

One case in point is stomach cramps which are normally associated with bouts of diarrhea or constipation. If you are a woman, of course cramps are often experience before and during the menstrual cycle.

However, stomach cramps also can occur as a result of a cancerous tumor that has applied pressure against the colon walls. Not many people would think anything of this, so early warning signs of cancer may be overlooked.

Additional signs of colon cancer include the following:

You may feel like you are ready to have a bowel movement. However, when you try to release your bowels you are unable to.

  • If you experience nausea as well as vomiting, especially on a regular basis, it could be a sign of an obstructing tumor.
  • Fat loss from your actual tumor affecting appetite will probably be extremely challenging to pinpoint as a colon cancer symptom. However, it can be a signal as such.
  • Fatigue precipitated by the malignant melanoma (cancerous growth) will not be attributed to a difficulty developing inside the colon unless other indications and signs are also present. Colon most cancers can make persons.
  • On the other hand, when they try to complete so, they’re frequently unable to, in particular when the tumor is inside the reduced end on the colon. The tumor can result in gas to turn out to be trapped, which eventually is released in greater amounts than normal.
  • Colonic tumors often develop faster on the right side from the colon, and this is because that is where there is the most space. It can even bleed for a long time and this bleeding can go undetected.
  • You may have noticed you are feeling tired quite a bit lately. This could be a result of the anemia (reduced production of red blood cells) that occurs when you have a bleeding colon.
  • The spread of malignant colonic tumors often is more noticeable in the advanced stages, which of course you hope to stop. The following is a list of malignant colon cancer symptoms:
  • Gastrointestinal blood loss
  • Severe constipation
  • Alter in bowel movements
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Red blood in stool
  • Dark black stools
  • Weight loss
  • Malaise,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Thin, stringy stools.

In the event you are concerned about whether or not you have colon cancers ask your medical doctor to test you.

If you notice any of the signs or symptoms listed above, there is certainly a chance that malignant (potentially fatal) cancer could be present. Make sure you get screened as soon as possible.

It can prevent colon cancer symptom spread to other organs such as the liver, lungs, bladder, uterus or prostate. If you wait too long, the cancer may be close to impossible to correct and treat.

Typical screenings should start at age 50 to guarantee the very best colon most cancers treatment along with the brightest prognosis.

Colon Cancer Diagnosis

There are few things more life changing than learning that you have some form of cancer. Receiving a colon cancer diagnosis causes many different emotions to surface in many people. For most the first of these feelings may be fear, shock, disbelief, anger, depression and even hopelessness. Fortunately, there are ways to beat this serious disease and in some cases you may even be able to prevent it.

The first step in preventing a colon cancer diagnosis is to understand what this disease is and where it comes from. This can go a long way in giving an individual the power of knowledge to prevent the devastation that often comes with colon cancer.

There are many symptoms and warning signs that often indicate that a colon cancer diagnosis may be forthcoming. Some of the most common of these symptoms include the following:

  • Bleeding of the rectum
  • Bloody stool
  • Changes in bowel habits including constipation or diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling that your bowels are not completely empty
  • Unexplained weight loss

Although there are many symptoms related to colon cancer there are some individuals that present no symptoms in the early stages. This is one reason why regular screening should be done when a person reaches a certain age.

There are many tests that your health care provider may use before offering a definitive colon cancer diagnosis. These tests are designed to determine if a person has colon cancer or if some other issue may be the cause of the problem. Some of the most common tests which may be used to diagnose colon cancer include:

  • Blood tests
  • Colonoscopy
  • Barium enema

Blood tests do not detect colon cancer specifically but they may help to give doctors a better understanding of your symptoms. These tests may also include a complete blood count as well as the functionality of all organs.

Colonoscopy is a minor procedure in which a long, slender tube is used to take pictures of your colon and rectum. This is also used to take small samples for biopsy if anything suspicious is found.

A barium enema uses an X-ray to see the colon. Barium is a dye which is put into the rectum as an enema along with air. This coats the colon and shows the outline of the colon clearly. This allows doctors to see any problems that may be present. If you have received a colon cancer diagnosis, your doctor will discuss with you the various treatment options. This will vary from one person to another and will be dependent upon the stage of the cancer and the exact location as well.

Factors That Affect Prognosis

Colon cancer is not something that worsens your health conditions overnight. This disease grows broadly through four different stages. A clear understanding of these four stages helps us to carefully come up with a colon cancer prognosis. 

Generally, Stage A is the one in which your cancer is penetrated only to the most superficial layer of your bowel wall. This layer is known as the mucosa. In Stage B, the cancer goes on to penetrate to the muscular layer of your bowel wall. As you move to Stage C, the cancer spreads in to your lymph nodes and Stage D witnesses the spread of cancer to other nearby sites like the liver and the lung. This is known as Metastases.

Now, there are certain tests and procedures, like chest x-rays, CAT scans and the pathologist’s reports that are employed so that the stage of the cancer can be detected. Once, this has been detected, various treatment options are being looked up on. However, what you must know is that in almost all the treatments, the basic strategy that is used is to remove the infected section of your colon and then rejoin your intestine again.

Studies show that these treatments work best in Stage A and Stage B wherein the 5-year survival success rates have approached to 90%. Since, in Stage C, lymph nodes are involved, the effectiveness of the treatments and the prognosis depends largely on the number of lymph nodes that are involved. Patients show better prognosis when around 1-3 nodes are involved. Increase in the number of nodes involved decreases the chances of a better prognosis. Lastly, Stage D prognosis can be termed as the worst. However, there is still hope as the recent NCI reports indicate that those with 3 or less than 2 metastases have a 5-year survival success rate of around 20-30%.

Having said all of this, what you must also be cognizant towards is the fact that depends on many other factors as well. Apart from the stages, other factors that might influence the prognosis are:

  • Type and Location of the cancer
  • Patient’s age
  • Patient’s general health
  • Patient’s responses to the treatments

Generally, the doctors also review various statistics from other cases and survival rates and then give a prognosis. However, what you must understand is that a prognosis, no matter how much positive or negative, is clearly a prediction only. No doctor can ever be 100% sure about the outcomes that an individual patient may face.

Colonoscopy – What does it Mean?

Physicians highly recommend screening for colon cancer after the age of 50. Even healthy individuals with no history of colon cancer, colon polyps, other bowel problems or bleeding should have a colonoscopy.

Colon cancer colonoscopy is a procedure used to see inside the rectum and colon. This can detect inflamed tissue, ulcers, and abnormal growths. This procedure is used to look for early signs of colorectal cancer and can help doctors diagnose unexplained changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, bleeding from the anus, and weight loss.

Your doctor will usually give you written instructions on how to prepare yourself for a colonoscopy. The process is called bowel prep. Usually, all solids must be emptied from the gastrointestinal tract by following a clear liquid diet for 1 to 3 days before the procedure takes place. Patients should refrain from drinks containing red or purple dye. Some acceptable liquids are fat free bouillon or broth, strained fruit juice, water, plain coffee, plain tea, sports drinks, such as Gatorade, and gelatin.

A laxative or an enema may be required the night before a colon cancer colonoscopy. Patients should also inform their doctor of all medical conditions and any medications, vitamins, or supplements taken regularly. This includes aspirin, arthritis medications, blood thinners, diabetes medications, and vitamins that may contain iron.

During a colon cancer colonoscopy, patients lie on their left side. In most cases, a light sedative, and possibly pain medication, helps keep you relaxed. Sometimes a deeper sedative may be required. Once the scope has reached the opening of the small intestine, it’s slowly withdrawn and the lining of the large intestine is carefully examined again. During colonoscopy, any polyps that are present, can usually be removed right then.

This procedure usually takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. Cramping or bloating may occur during the first hour after the procedure. The sedative does take time to completely wear off, so some patients find it necessary to remain at the clinic for 1 to 2 hours before leaving.  Also, driving is not permitted for 12 hours after the procedure.

If you develop any severe abdominal pain, fever, bloody bowel movements, dizziness, or weakness you should see a doctor immediately. A routine colon cancer colonoscopy to look for early signs of cancer should begin at age 50 for most people. This may be recommended earlier if there is a family history of colorectal cancer. Your doctor will inform you of how often you may need to get a colon cancer colonoscopy.

Colon Cancer Stages

Colon Cancer Stages to Expect with This Form of Cancer

There are five different colon cancer stages that many patients will experience that have been diagnosed with this particular type of this serious disease. There are also several different common treatment options that are used today, and the specific treatment method your physician may choose, will depend a great upon the specific cancer stages that the disease happens to be in at the time of treatment.

Stage 0 – This stage of colon cancer is a stage in which the mucosa, which is also known as the colon’s lining has been affected by the disease. A colonoscopy is often performed on patient’s during this stage to remove benign tumors or polyps, which also takes away the chances of these problems recurring.

Stage 1 – When the cancer tissue or cells have spread past the rectum or the colon’s lining. When steps have not been taken to treat polyps, they can them turn into tumors, which will often spread to the rectum or the colon’s walls. Surgery is often recommended for the removal of the part of the colon that has been affected.

Stage 2 – In this stage, cancerous tissue has reached the surrounding areas of the colon, but it has not yet reached the patient’s lymph nodes. The process in which cancerous tissue spreads to other areas of the body, it is known as metastasis. Generally physicians will recommend the resection surgery be performed at this stage.

Stage 3 – Once cancerous tissue has spread to the lymph nodes of the patient’s body, it has reached stage 3 of the colon cancer stages. However, the cancer has not yet spread to any of the patient’s other organs. A more aggressive approach in treatment is required once a patient has reached stage 3 of the disease. Not only will a patient generally be recommended to undergo invasive surgery, but they will also usually be recommended to go through chemotherapy and other medical treatments as well.

Stage 4 – This is of course the worst of the colon cancer stages, and it is also the hardest to treat successfully. When the cancerous tissue and cells have reached stage 4, it means that they have spread to various other organs of the patient’s body as well. This would include organs such as the liver, the lungs, and various other organs.

The best way that patients can avoid the spread of colon cancer, is by having routine screening tests performed. These are very effective for catching this form of cancer in its earliest possible stages.

Colon Cancer Surgery

Different Options of Colon Cancer Surgery

There is a countless number of people all around the world that follow their doctors recommendations and go through the routine screening tests that are used to detect colon cancer in its earliest possible stages. Unfortunately, there is also many people that are diagnosed every year with have this very serious disease. When a patient is diagnosed with this form of cancer, their physician will generally choose one of several different types of surgeries that are commonly used today. Below you will find a list of some of the most common surgery options that are performed to remove cancer growth and other cells of the body that have been affected by this disease. The different types of surgeries are listed from the least to the most invasive procedures.

  • Colonoscopic excision – This surgery involves the use of a specialized instrument that makes examining a patient’s colon easy to accomplish. A polypectomy, which is the removal of polyps is another procedure that is commonly performed using the procedure of a colonoscopic excision. It is usually performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia, and is a selected procedure for early stages of colorectal cancer and the removal of polyps and adenomas.
  • Local Excision – This is a procedure that involves the removal of cancerous tissue and cells through the anus, so they can be examined by a pathologist to more precisely be able to determine the specific stage and depth the cancer is in. It can aid physicians in determining if other treatment options will need to be used, such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
  • Bowel Resection – Using this type of surgery, cancerous tissue along with surrounding tissue is removed through an incision that is made the the patient’s abdomen, and then the intestines or bowel ends are sutured together. The temporary use of a colostomy is often required with this particular colon cancer surgery.
  • Abdominoperineal Excision – This surgery is only used when absolutely necessary and involves the removal of the patient’s anal canal and rectum. The only time physicians choose to use this surgery, is when no other options can be used with any success. Thankfully, through the continuous advancements that have been made in the medical field, there are rarely any patients that will require this specific type of cancer surgery.

In many cases, radiation and chemotherapy are also used on conjunction with surgery options that a physician uses for the removal of cancerous tissue in a patient.

Colon Cancer Treatment

Some of the Available Options for Colon Cancer Treatment

One of the first thoughts that a person will generally have if they have been diagnosed with cancer of the colon is what are some of the common options available for colon cancer treatment. The answer to this particular question is greatly determined by a wide variety of different factors. Of course the sooner a patient has this form of cancer diagnosed and treated, the more effective and successful the treatment that is used will be and the higher their chances will be for survival from this serious disease.

This particular form of cancer does not generally have any specific symptoms that a person can watch for that will alert them that there is a serious problem that is occurring within their body. For this very reason it is highly recommended that individuals that have reached the age of 50 years old or above, make a routine appointment with their health care provider so that the proper screening tests can be performed. This is especially true in the individuals that have shown to have a family history of disease. This is the best way to ensure that this often fatal disease can be caught in its earliest possible stage.

Some of the many different factors that a specialized physician will use to determine the best treatment option for this form of cancer would include the following:

  • The stage that the cancer cells have reached
  • The size that the cancer has grown
  • The overall condition of health the individual is in
  • The location of the cancer cells

Most generally when a cancerous growth of this type has been located, the patient’s doctor will recommend that a surgical procedure be performed to remove the growth of all of the cancer cells. There are also healthy cells that the physician will remove during surgery from areas that are on each side of the growth. Then the colon will be reattached.

After the surgery has been performed and the patient has had time to recuperate, the next step is usually to undergo either radiation or chemotherapy. This is especially true in cases that the physician believes there could still be some cancer cells that were left behind after the surgery.

A patient that undergoes this type of surgery will often need a temporary colostomy, and in some cases the use of a colostomy may even be permanent. This is often the result when there is a large portion of the colon that had to be removed during surgery.

How Are Colon Cancer Drugs Used for Treatment?

In many cases, the most effective and also the most highly recommended treatment for colon cancer is, surgery. Sometimes however surgery simply is not enough to completely correct the problem. When surgery is not completely effective then cancer drugs are sometimes used. Most often these drugs are administered through various types of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

In a large number of cases these colon cancer drugs are used in combination with surgery. Sometimes however this may be the first recommendation of treatment particularly if the cancer is detected in the very early stages. When cancer is detected early enough it may be possible to avoid surgery altogether if chemotherapy or radiation eliminates the cancer effectively.

There are several ways in which colon cancer drugs may be used to treat this specific cancer. One such way is through chemotherapy. This is a type of treatment which uses various types of drugs to destroy the cancerous cells. This may be done after surgery to prevent the growth of new tumors or to relieve the various symptoms of cancer. In cases of rectal cancer or cases in which the cancer has traveled beyond the colon this may be used in combination with radiation therapy.

When colon cancer is very advanced, targeted drug therapy may be used. These cancer drugs may be used in combination with chemotherapy or alone depending on each individual person. This is generally only used in extreme cases.

Not every person will benefit from the use of the therapy that uses targeted colon cancer drugs. Because it is unknown why this is health care providers carefully consider all options before resorting to this costly type of treatment.

Regardless of which specific treatment option is used it is important to remember that you are the key to successful treatment. Although many people may not realize it, their frame of mine and attitude play a large role in the treatment process. This is why it is so important to try to remain upbeat and keep a positive attitude as much as possible. Another thing that a person should remember is that no two people are alike. For this reason no two cases of colon cancer are alike either. What is effective for one person may not be effective for someone else. Because of this each person’s treatment plan will be unique. This is often dependent on many factors. Some of these factors include issues such as the severity of the condition, the person’s personal preferences and sometimes even the age of the individual.

Colon Cancer Survival Rate

As with all other types of cancer and cancerous growths, the colon cancer survival rate of any patient will depend a great deal on the specific stage that the colon cancer is in, when it is first noticed and diagnosed. Of course this means that the sooner a person consults with their family health care professional after they have started to notice any signs that something may be wrong, the better their chances will be at having a higher cancer survival rate.

Since this particular health issue occurs more frequently in individuals that have reached the age of 50 and over, it is important to see your doctor for an assessment and screening test, on a regular basis. This is a step that will help to ensure that it is detected in its earliest stages of growth, thus increasing the patient’s chances of successful treatment and survival. Colon cancer is a type of cancer that has been found to be extremely successful to treat when it is caught at the earliest stages of the disease.

Since stage 4 of colon cancer is the last stage of this serious disease, the cancer survival rate is much higher when it has been caught at Stage 0 and 1 of the disease. When the disease is found during these early stages, a patient’s prognosis can be as high as 90% and above for a period of approximately 5 years. Stage 2 of the disease is still at a high five-year colon cancer survival rate, being as high as 50% to 85%. When a patient has reached Stage 3 of this disease they can expect the expectancy of a survival rate to be approximately 20% to 50%.

This is the stage where the disease has already spread through the wall of the colon and has started to have an effect on lymph nodes and other organs that are nearby. Successful treatment is much harder to achieve once the disease has been allowed to spread throughout the individual’s body. Once this form of cancer has reached the last phase, which is Stage 4, the colon cancer survival rate has decreased a great deal and can be different in each individual patient, but in most cases is as low as 10%. A factor that can increase the colon cancer survival rate when it has reached this stage to between 20% and 30% is the specific areas that have been infected and the individual masses.

The Chances of Recurrence

If you or anybody you know has had colon cancer, you may be afraid yet interested in finding out what the chances of cancer recurrence are. It is possible to find out what the chances are of the disease coming back but you will need to look at some factors to determine the chances of cancer recurrence.

Colon cancer is referred to in stages depending on how advanced they are and how far they have spread. In stage zero or one colon cancer the chances of a cancer recurrence can be very small. It is possible that after an operation you mad need no further treatment. You will still need checkups, yes, but not chemotherapy, or radiotherapy.

If colon cancer has progressed to a more advanced stage, the chances of it recurring are definitely increased, and will continue to do so as the disease advances.

Colon cancer can reappear near the original site, or in another organ (usually the liver).

When a person faces a colon cancer recurrence the same treatments used for the original tumor may be tried again. If the tumor is small enough, it will be removed surgically. If it is not small enough, chemotherapy will be applied to try and shrink the tumor to the point where it can be removed. If cancer recurs in the liver, a surgeon might try to remove part of the organ.

There is also significant evidence that diets high in red meat and fatty foods increase the risk of a colon cancer recurrence. Once patients are diagnosed with stage 3 cancer, even following up on treatment, after 5 years about 30% of patients can expect to face the possibility of a colon cancer recurrence.

It is very important to prevent colon cancer recurrence after dealing with cancer. For this reason it is crucial to pay close attention to the health of your colon. It is said that yogurt contains healthy bacteria that helps to work in the colon to create a healthy environment that helps prevent tumor growth. Also, bromelain is an enzyme in pineapple, which is known for fighting cancer. It helps to prevent and break down tumors. Eating pineapple isn’t enough to make a drastic difference, so it would be best to take it in a supplemental way. Along with colon health, yogurt, and bromelain researchers have found that colon cancer patients who exercise at moderate levels 6 to 12 months after surgery, have approximately a 50 % higher survival rate than those who do not exercise.

Colon Polyps

Colon polyps are small growths that are made of cells that generally form on an individual’s colon or on the large intestine’s lining. In some cases there may only be one polyp that develops. However, in other cases there can be several polyps that can form at the same time. In a majority of cases that colon polyps have developed, they are harmless and are no cause for worry. There are however times that over time these growths can have the potential to become cancerous, and in some cases they can also be cancerous from the very beginning of the growth process.

There are generally no symptoms that a person will notice when colon polyps have formed. This is the very reason that it is recommended to have a colonoscopy performed on a routine basis for people that have reached the age of 50 years old, and for those who are older. This test is used as an effective screening process that can detect this type of growth where the necessary steps can be taken to remove them as quickly as possible, taking away any risk of them becoming cancerous.

Some Common Risk Factors That are Linked to Colon Polyps

There are a few factors that pertain to an individuals lifestyle that can increase a person’s chances of developing this specific type of growth. Some of these risk factors would include the following:

  • Individuals that do not engage in an adequate amount of exercise and activity
  • People that smoke cigarettes
  • Alcohol consumption can raise the risk of acquiring colon polyyps
  • Food consumption that is in an excess amount
  • Obesity and being overweight

Some Symptoms Associated with Colon Polyps that can Occur in Some Patients

Although in a majority of cases that an individual is diagnosed with colon polyps, the person does not experience any type of symptoms, there are times that a few symptoms may occur. These symptoms would include bleeding that is sometimes noticed on the individual’s undergarments, bleeding rectally, diarrhea or chronic constipation that generally lasts for longer than a week, and noticing the stool to be dark in color, and sometimes noticing a bright red color in the stool.

Prevention and Treatment Options for Colon Polyps

Although no prevention methods have been found through study and research projects, there are some steps an individual can take that may decrease their risk of this problem. This would include avoiding alcohol consumption and smoking, reducing the intake of fatty foods and increasing a diet that includes vegetables and fresh fruits, and losing excess weight. Growths are generally removed during the screening process as they are found. If tests reveal the polyps to be cancerous, the physician may suggest that further tests be performed.

Top Five Causes of Colon Cancer

Since times immemorial, researchers and experts have been interested in understanding some of the causes that might lead to a life-threatening disease like Colon Cancer. Citing help from years of vigorous research and studies in the domain of cancer, we have tried to list down the top five causes behind colon cancer here.

If you too are eager to know what these causes are, have a look at the following list:

  1. Obesity- Obesity and excess body weight tops the list of causes behind colon cancer. You can find ample of researches quoting that those with the extra pounds are more likely to acquire this disease than those who are in good shape.
  2. Age- Experts have identified that people often get prone to colon cancer as they age. By the time people reach 50, there is a high tendency that 1 out of 4 of them start to have polyps which is a major cause that gives birth to cancer.
  3. Diet- Diets that are unhealthy, high on fat and cholesterol content often lead to the problem of cancer. Low-fiber diets have also been identified as a major risk factor that is likely to cause colon cancer.
  4. Genetics- Believe it or not, there are researches that strongly support the view that you are more likely to be affected by cancer if you have a family history of the same disease.  Researchers estimate that about 25% of colon cancer cases have some sort of genetic link. Examples of the most common genetic causes of cancer include mutations leading to FAP (familial adenomatous polyposis) and HNPCC (hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer).
  5. Environment- The kind of environment you live in, the place you live at, work at etc. all have  a major role to play when talking about colon cancer. Also, the kind of lifestyle that you lead- whether you smoke or not, whether you have time to exercise etc.; all these have a major impact on your health.  

Once, you know what the root causes of your problem are, you can use the understanding that you have about these causes to your advantage. You can develop for yourself guidelines of a healthy lifestyle that keeps in focus all these causes. When you strictly cater to all these root causes, you can be sure that a problem like colon cancer will never be able to even touch you.

Is the Risk of Colon Cancer in Women Higher than in Men?

Many people often wonder if there is a higher occurrence of colon cancer in women versus that of men. The fact of the matter is that the risk of developing colon cancer is pretty much equal regardless of whether you are male or female. The only real difference between the genders is in some of the risk factors which make a person more likely to develop this serious disease.

One of the biggest risk factors for developing colon cancer in women is age. As a woman’s age progresses the risk of developing this condition doubles every five years. Menopause is another factor which increases a woman’s risk of cancer.

In addition to this other issues which may increase the occurrence of colon cancer in women include having a family history of cancer or polyps, a diet which is high in fat or low in fiber and indulging in a sedentary lifestyle. Women who have had breast or uterine cancer are also at an increased risk of developing cancer as well.

Although women may face many risk factors in connection with colon cancer there are also ways of lowering the risk of cancer in women. Weight is one of these ways. By keeping your weight at a healthy level and including regular exercise you are helping to lower the risk of developing colon cancer.

Hormone replacement therapy, also known as HRT, taken by postmenopausal women may reduce the risks of colon cancer by as much as 20-45 per cent. This number may vary from one woman to another and each woman will be different. Adding calcium supplements to your diet may also decrease this risk by up to fifty per cent. Again this may vary from one woman to another.

As you can see there are many risk factors that contribute to developing colon cancer in women. Fortunately there are also many ways of decreasing this risk. In addition to this there are several methods which may be used to screen for this specific type of cancer. These methods often include one or more of the following tests:

  • Barium enema
  • Colonoscopy
  • Fecal occult blood test
  • DNA test of the stool
  • Sigmoidoscopy

Of these various testing methods the one that is considered by health care providers is the colonoscopy. This particular test is recommended for any adult – male or female – over the age of fifty years. For those with a potential high risk of developing colon cancer however this is recommended to begin at age forty.

Colon Health

General Colon Health Tips

What you will see in this short document is a collection of general colon health tips. This pertains to the consequences of not having a health colon as well as how to keep your intestines clean.

Consequences of Unhealthy Colon

An unhealthy intestinal tract can lead to many problems. Most of them such as constipation and hemorrhoids are caused by a lack of soluble fiber.
 
Poor eating habits can also cause the inflammation of the inner digestive tract lining. This then also contributes to the lack of healthy nutrients and lack of proper healthy food absorption.

This leads to mild to moderate issues can also be triggered by colon-related malfunction. Examples of such issues include the following: bad breath, acne, or spider veins.

These are usually caused by failure of the colon to past human body waste though the digestive system and out of the body. Poor well-being generally would be the result of the body’s inability to detoxify itself.

This would be the end result of not eating enough fiber in the diet. You will learn later on about this as well as a variety of ways to achieve greater colon health. First though you will be introduced to one very popular medical procedure used to clean out the colon.

Effective Treatments

Colonic irrigation is a popular approach to cleaning out the colon. It involves the employment of chemicals (or sometimes just water with no chemicals) as well as tubes. The water is used to push fluid through the colorectal tract.

This is done to help remove waste that has been left behind and never eliminated from the body. However, process cam very well end up being abused. The end result is that a person ends up removing too much of the required pro-biotic bacteria that the body needs.

You will discover much easier, healthier means to clean the colon than this process. A diet program of fibers and raw foods aids clean the walls from the colorectal, and diuretics are useful in producing excess waste and stools.

Colon-Friendly Foods

Common digestive tract problems (and even colon cancer) may be prevented using a suitable eating plan. Examples of such include dried plums, peaches, almonds, spinach, carrots, pinto beans, and whole grains.

Stay away from too much fatty meats like bacon. Furthermore, do not eat too much cheese. You should also stop smoking and drinking too much alcohol and get away from that white bread and refined sugar!

Recommended diet plan

People with colon cancer often grapple with questions pertaining to the kind of diet that they must take during the treatment. Often patients try to search for a specific diet that might prove to be helpful in fighting against this disease. However, it is important to be cognizant of the fact that there is no single diet or no one food that can offer you a solution against colon cancer.

But this certainly doesn’t mean that a healthy diet is not important for your disease. All we are trying to say is that you must eat a balanced and healthy diet, which is a combination of a variety of foods so that you get enough of calories, vitamins, minerals, proteins, nutrients and fiber to stay in good health and weight. 

People with colon cancer often feel better and filled with immense energy and strength as a result of a good and healthy nutrition. However, all of this is not that easy. Cancer patients often complain that they don’t feel the urge to eat when they feel tired and uncomfortable. Moreover, the side effects of the cancer treatment like, nausea, mouth sores, poor appetite and vomiting can be really disheartening.

It is here that you need to consult a dietician, doctor or any other health care provider who can offer you ways to maintain a healthy colon cancer diet. But, we definitely can provide you with some simple and handy tips regarding your diet that might help you to put your best foot forward against this disease.

First, take a diet that is high on fiber and extremely rich in organic and raw foods. You can increase the fiber content in your cancer diet by increasing the intake of grains, fruits and vegetables.  
Second, though it is important to get your vitamins from the diet that you eat, some studies have indicated that vitamin capsules can really help you in your cancer treatment.

Next, juice fasting can be really useful for the colon. This method is really fruitful for your entire system that includes the digestive as well as immune system. Juice fasting not only provides a vacation to your digestive system but also acts as a blood transfusion so that vitamins and minerals are smoothly forced in to the blood stream. Moreover, while you are on a juice fast, it is highly advisable to take coffee enemas that remarkably help in the detoxification of your entire system.

Colonic Irrigation

Overview of Colonic Irrigation

Colon irrigation may help with preventing colon cancer. Because of to the fecal cleansing method it helps allowing nutrients and mineral streaming through the colon.

Thus, potential risk of cancer is reduced. It also can help reduce or prevent other colon related difficulties. For instance, many people have used colonic irrigation for the following reasons:

  • To eliminate irritable bowel syndrome
  • To stop obesity or increased weight gain
  • To get rid of stomach pain, fatigue or irritability
  • To stop skin irritation or eczema
  • To eliminate headaches
  • To stop bloating, constipation, or gas problems

This does seems like a wide range of issues that colonic irrigation does address. Therefore, it may not seem feasible that it can have such benefits.

However,  but when you take into account the difficulty that is caused by impacted, encrusted, and dried fecal matter that is stored in your colon; it is quite logical. Colonic irrigation helps moisturize and loosen up your intestinal tract.

This is done so that you can eliminate the build up of toxins that are stuck in your intestines. This helps reduce troubles than could result in more severe colon problems.

Colonic irrigation is a vital necessity of for your body to stay healthy, plus the benefits are countless. For one, it can aid in colon cancer prevention. The colonic fecal matter cleansing also helps by allowing nutrients and mineral flow to go through the colon-which is how colon cancer can be prevented.

About the Process

Colonic irrigation is usually performed in a special clinic. During the procedure, a tube called a speculum will be inserted into your rectum. This tube is about 5,5 inches long and is attached to a plastic hose connected to a colon irrigation machine.

After the speculum is inserted up your anus into your rectum, purified warm water will be s shot up your colon using the colon irrigation machine. Muscle contract as a result of the water being forced into the colon.

The fecal matter is then pushed out through an evacuation tube that leads back to the colon irrigation machine. This colonic irrigation treatment usually takes 30 to 50 minutes and needs 20 to 30 gallons of water to be flushed trough your colon.

During this time, you will feel a warm sensation as the fecal matter and toxins and leaves your body. Most practitioners’ advice is to receive colonic irrigation sessions every 3 to 6 months for regular maintenance.

Concerns

Colonic irrigation can product a variety of positive outcomes in users. However, according to some standards they are regarded as a quick fix to an unhealthy bowel problem.

Though dispensing water under pressure can do away with some of the residue in the colon, it doesn’t correct the beneath dietary difficulties and can decrease the amount of advantageous bacteria from the colon.

Colon Hydrotherapy

The Colon Hydrotherapy Process Explained

Establishing health in your colon is a powerful way to optimize your health. There are many different ways to do this. One of which is to apply colon hydrotherapy.

The Procedure

When a patient receives colon hydrotherapy, a qualified health professional inserts purified water into the anus of a client.  Water enters the client with a pencil-shaped tube without pressure or discomfort.

Benefits

One of the main purposes of hydrotherapy is to moisten the colonic tract. This is done so that impacted, dried bowels can be more easily evacuated. Thus, future constipation is prevented.

It also can correct IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) in individuals, and it also can eliminate bloating, gas, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems. More recent research also suggests that this procedure retones and reshapes the colon.

It also provides more energy and flattens the stomach. As debris and toxins are cleaned out of the body using hydrotherapy, the immune system is also strengthened. The end result is greater health and well being and less chance of colon cancer growing in the body.

This type of procedure could also boost metabolism that helps a person lose weight. It can also help increase energy level in a person.

Hydrotherapy is said also to have a relaxing effect on the different organs of the body (i.e. liver, kidneys, heart, and the lungs.) It also helps improve the peristalsis process so that food can be digested more effectively. It also eliminates mucus, which is a manifestation of toxic bacteria.

Drawbacks

This procedure does not guarantee that a person will not get colon cancer, although it may be used to cleanse colon cancer patients. Depending upon the type of hydrotherapy used there may be some discomfort in patients during this procedure.

Another drawback of this solution is that it is not endorsed by every practitioner. If it is supported by doctors it may be only used in certain instances.

Furthermore, hydrotherapy has not approved any colon cleansing system for use on patients who are well. Therefore, it may not be recommended as a routine colon cleanse for many patients.

Some Guidance

It is highly recommended that you seek the assistance a seasoned colon hydrotherapist to carry out the treatment. Never go to someone who is not a proven trained professional.

It also helps if you understand what to expect before, during, and after the procedure. This will greatly reduce chance of injury or other complication. Furthermore, any dieting or lifestyle changes your doctor recommends you should follow.

5 Colon Cancer Prevention Tips

Colon cancer has become one of the most common forms of cancer that affects the American population today. Now, when a disease is so common, there is no doubts about the fact that a host of studies would be available that talk about the preventive measures you can adopt to avoid this disease.

Below, we list down top 5 colon cancer prevention tips that you can incorporate in your day-to-day life:

  1. Opt for a Balanced Diet- We have to agree that we live in a junk food culture. Therefore, it comes as no surprise when most of us sacrifice a nutritious and healthy diet because of the temptations of a junk food. However, what you must understand is that a healthy and balanced diet is the only assured way through which you can avoid many harmful diseases that also include colon cancer.
  2. Keep Your Lifestyle Active- We understand that you have a hectic lifestyle and you are a busy person but it is always wise to prioritize your health way above everything else. Therefore, take out time for yourself. Live an active lifestyle and take out time to exercise. Even researches have pointed out that a good workout routine reduces the risk of colon cancer by 40%. Also, it is always helpful to eliminate unhealthy habits like smoking from your lifestyle.
  3. Sustain a Healthy Weight- If you have a look at the recent researches and studies that talk about cancer, you will find that obese people are more prone to this disease than others. Don’t you think this is enough of a reason for you to maintain and uphold a healthy weight?  And, with so much of development around, shedding those extra pounds is not that difficult now. You have so many weight loss products and colon cleansers that help you to shed oodles of weight remarkably and thereby assist in prevention.
  4. Timely Health Check – The problem with many of us is that we do not take our health seriously. We ignore things like, constipation, thin stools and fatigue and never even consult our doctor. It is important to be informed about these symptoms of colon cancer so that we consult the doctor timely. It is usually advised to get a cancer check or at least a normal health check done every year, after you turn 40. It is significant for you to note that there are much better chances to treat colon cancer if it gets diagnosed early.
  5. Try and Reduce Exposure to Radiation- Recent studies have explained that there exists a relation between cancer and exposure to radiation. If you expose yourself less to radiations, you are less likely to be prone to colon cancer.

To conclude, always keep in mind that Prevention is better than cure. It is better to be wise from the very beginning than to be sorry later.

Resources:

7 COMMENTS

  1. Emily Wright

    Colorectal cancer is a phrase that encompasses all kinds of diseases that occur in the rectal or colonic area. It helps to learn some general facts about colorectal diseases:

    Most people who get colorectal cancer have no other risk factors besides being older than 50.That is why persons age 50 years or older are advised to get screened,
    Usually colorectal diseases are screened by way of what is known as a colonoscopy. A sigmoidoscopy could also be used.
    You are more likely to get colorectal cancer if one of your parents, brothers, sisters, or children has had the disease.
    Your risk for colorectal cancer depends on how old your family member was when he or she was diagnosed.
    Another factor that determines whether you may get colorectal cancer is how many members of your family have had the disease.
    If you have a strong family history of colorectal cancer, a blood test may help you.
    A diet high in fat and calories and low in fiber is a possible connection to greater risk of developing colorectal cancer.
    Persons who have suffered the following conditions screening should receive a colonoscopy eight to 12 years after being diagnosed if chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes both ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
    Proper screening can detect polyps before they develop into cancer. The right type of examination also can detect colon cancer during its early stages and increase chances of a cure.
    Women with a history of female cancers, such as breast, ovary or uterus cancers often are at a higher risk of colorectal cancer.
    In upwards of 30% of colorectal cancers are due to genetic factors. Some of these are a result of genetic mutations.

    Screening Help

    Colorectal cancer patients are often provided with the highest quality of screening, counseling, and care. Patients also have access to innovative techniques, new drugs, and clinical trials.

    You can ask your current doctor or other specialist to lead you to information regarding today’s most advanced treatment choices. The right team of colorectal cancer experts is probably your best resource to reply upon for answers.

  2. Gloria

    A colonoscopy is a testing procedure used to screen patients for colorectal cancer. This short blog entry is simply intended to explain a bit about this process of diagnosis.

    A colonoscopy usually takes 30 to 60 minutes. Usually this examination is performed using an endoscope inserted into the rectal area. It is the camera on this piece of examination equipment that helps identify any abnormalities in a person.

    During this session, sedatives and/or a pain medicine will keep you from feeling too much discomfort during the exam. Still you will need to remain at the colonoscopy facility for 1 to 2 hours.

    This waiting period is mostly to make sure that the sedative will wear off properly. In any case, full recovery by the next day is normal and usually can be expected. After this time most people are expected to be able to return to their regular routine.

    Possible Complications

    Sometimes recipients of a colonoscopy experience the following complications: severe abdominal pain, fever, bloody bowel movements, dizziness, or weakness. If you have any of these side effects, you should make sure you contact your doctor as soon as possible.

    If you want to minimize a bad reaction after this procedure read your discharge instructions very carefully. For instance, you may be told that medications such as blood-thinners may need to be stopped for a short time.

    The temporary discontinuance of certain blood thinners becomes even more paramount after a biopsy. Another instance in which it may be necessary is when a potentially cancerous polyps is removed.

    Benefits

    Colonoscopies are used to help detect any colonic or rectal problems before cancer forms and advances. This is what helps save the lives of thousands of Americans every year.

    This is also what helps provide doctors with information needed to improve quality of life. Using a colonoscopy examination can help set a course of treatment that will help get rid of problems before they become life-threatening.

  3. Wanda

    A number of changes can be made in a person’s life in order to help ensure a longer life. Take head to these precautions so that you can increase your longevity and enjoy as best of a quality of life as possible.

    Dietary Changes

    More and more evidence points to the necessity of a healthy diet. Making even the smallest dietary changes can successfully prevent and combat colon cancer.

    Since this disease seems to be quite often linked to the typical western diet as the cause, this diet is going to be addressed. Please view the following diet change tips:

    Avoiding processed food and foods loaded with trans fats as much as possible.
    Eat more blueberries. Why? Because it has been reported that this small fruit slashes the risk of colon cancer by 57%.
    Omega-3 fish oil is important for the digestive system. It acts as a lubricator (as does any unsaturated oil you consume) and thus helps keep your system clean.
    Apples are one very important food to eat. They have in them natural phytochemicals that can protect you person against colon cancer.
    Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you consume.
    Decrease the amounts of white breads, pastas, and pastries that you eat.
    Replace as many white breads and noodles as possible with whole grain versions.
    Eat only whole grain cereals.
    Increase intake of liquids, especially water. It is suggested that 8 to 10 glasses of water should be consumed daily.

    You may want to ask a health professional such as a doctor, dietician, or nurse for additional dietary change tips. You might even want to have someone plan meals for you if you do not have a lot of time to decide what is appropriate for you to eat.

    Lifestyle Changes

    In this section are included tips on changed habits. You are going to be presented tips associated with both exercise and lifestyle choices:
    Stop smoking and reduce or eliminate alcohol usage.
    Reduce or eliminate caffeine consumption.
    Exercise at least 30 minutes daily.
    Whenever possible go to the bathroom when you first have the urge to relieve your bowels.
    If you are naturally a loner, get out and socialize more. You would be surprised at how even the smallest amount of interaction can improve your health.

  4. Catherine

    Many assume when they are diagnosed with colon cancer that they are destined to die of this disease. However, that is not necessarily true.

    Before the cancer progresses to the later stages there is still hope. If you have some digestive problems and you are not yet positively diagnosed of cancer you can also find ways to prevent it and improve your health.

    Some Statistics

    Colon cancer statistics are often combined with rectal cancer statistics. The statistics given below describe colorectal cancer.

    These statistics given are important because both types of cancer originate in the large intestine. Please view some statistics below:

    Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S.
    According to the American cancer society, the five-year survival rate for colon cancer is 65%.
    About 90% of people diagnosed with colon cancer are older than 50 years old.
    Colon and/or rectal cancer is hereditary in some people, but not always.
    People with family or personal history of colon cancer are more likely to experience problems over and over again.

    Contributing Factors

    Many reliable medical sources offer explanations as to what can cause colon or rectal cancer. Some of the main contributing factors provided by Mayo clinic include the following:

    Heavy smoking and alcohol use
    A diet too low in fiber and too high in fat
    An inactive, sedentary lifestyle (not enough exercise)
    Type 2 Diabetes (the less serious kind)

    A variety of other unattended to digestive problems could also lead to colorectal cancer. That is why it is so important to receive regular doctor checkups, as understanding your body is key to proper diagnosis as well as prevention.

    Prevention and Risk Reduction

    The main preventative factor would be just to keep the body clean at all times. You can also drink plenty of water and try to smoking as soon as possible. It also would help to reduce or eliminate intake of alcohol or caffeine.

    Hopefully you can make the above positive changes before you ever receive any positive intestinal cancer diagnosis. You might also be pleased to know of the following presentation and risk reduction tips:

    Increased intake of calcium such as in the addition of a calcium supplement to the diet can reduce risk.
    If you exercise for at least 30 minutes a day it can help keep your system clean, thus less chance of getting digestive cancer.
    Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables and other high-fiber foods can drastically decrease your chances of further health and digestive problems.

  5. Rose Perkins

    When to Get Tested

    You can get tested at any time as a part of a normal precautionary routine. However, you should especially get tested for colon cancer if you notice the following symptoms:

    Blood or blackening of stool
    Yellowish discoloration of skin
    White discoloration in eyes
    Constipation or irregular bowel movements (more than normally)
    Narrow stools
    Unexplained weight loss
    Gas pains, bloating, or full feeling
    Cramps
    Chronic fatigue
    Vomiting or nausea (especially if it’s frequently)

    Colon Cancer Screening Routine

    Before you are screened for colon cancer you are more than likely going to be given a physical exam. During this time a complete assessment of your present health condition as well as your medical history will be made.

    After you have received a health assessment you then may take one or more of the following colon cancer screening tests:

    Sigmoidoscopy-This is a procedure that is used to examine the last one third of the intestine. The rectum and the sigmoid colon make up this colonic section. Through a flexible viewing tube and a lens and light source a doctor can check for cancer, abnormal growths called polyps, and ulcers. It takes about 15 to 30 minutes. This is a test that becomes routine after a person turns 50.

    Colonoscopy-Often this is a test given to people ages 50 and over. Usually it is given to people who are not at a high risk. The advantage of this test is that it reaches deeper than the sigmoidoscopy and it has a TV video screen. A certain attachment at the end helps gather tissue for testing and another attachment helps remove any polyp (abnormal growth) if necessary.

    The Biopsy Routine

    The biopsy portion of a colon cleanse is one that involves the collection of a small piece of colon tissue. This is taken to a lab for further study.

    This is done to help further detect any sign of colon cleansing, and gives patients the opportunity for early treatment. This could improve the quality of a person’s life and even save a person from death.

  6. Frank

    Two different kinds of colon cancer are described below. Please view the descriptions of local and systemic cancers:

    Local Colon Cancer-The most common symptoms of this type of colon cancer include these: less frequent bowel movements, loose or water stools (diarrhea), blood in the stools (appears black, tarry, or dark red), thinning of stools.

    Systemic Colon Cancer-Increased unintentional weight loss, loss of appetite, unexplained fatigue, anemia, or jaundice (yellowish skin and whitening of eyes) is some of the symptoms. Other symptoms include nausea and vomiting.

    For a complete list of colon cancer symptoms please contact a doctor. You can also receive a blood sample when you go to get a medical exam. During your examination, you probably will be letting your doctor know if any existing health conditions.

    You will also learn of any ways you can improve your health in the process. During this time is when you will probably be told if you need any type of surgery or colon cleansing treatment.

    As far as home colon cleanser remedies are concerned, there are conflicting opinions about whether these can improve one’s health. This is an issue you should discuss with your doctor when you see him/her.

    Patient Concerns (What to Expect)

    It you are noticing digestive symptoms that are affecting your skin or stool, you may be scared or embarrassed to get tested. However, the sooner you do the better. Your health depends on it.

    Remember too even doctors and nurses take colon cancer screening tests all the time. This sometimes is done as a precautionary measure even if in some cases nothing is wrong.

  7. Tammy Garcia

    The same foods you eat while trying to keep your colon clean are the same ones that can prevent colon cancer. Some of this information can be found in reports, which mention information provided by the American Institute for Cancer Research.

    Foods for Digestive Health

    When you eat a diet complete with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables it helps regulate your digestive system. Eating breads, cereals, and pastas made from whole grains versus white flour also benefits your system

    Any other foods you eat such as meats should be as lean as possible. For instance, when you shop for beef cuts pick the ones that have the least amount of “white” parts on them. When consuming dairy products, find ones that contain the lowest fat content as possible.

    Note that your diet should also include plenty of fiber. This is the reason for consuming a variety of foods as described above, preferably in the rawest or unprocessed forms possible.

    Furthermore, when cooking you are advised to use vegetable oils instead of saturated fats (i.e. butter, lard, certain margarine). When possible, also purchase your foods organic and do not eat too many smoked foods or any other foods that are preserved.

    When you eat the right combinations of foods, it can prevent certain forms of cancers, including colon cancer. A balanced diet provides all your vitamins, minerals and other nutrients such as antioxidants. Therefore, your body remains detoxified and it also is made stronger. This is how cancer is often warded off naturally.

    Healthy Lifestyle Choices

    In addition to eating a balanced diet, you are advised to drink plenty of water. About 8 to 10 glasses a day is best for most people. You should also reduce or eliminate use of alcohol and cigarettes as well as caffeinated beverages.

    Sometimes you can supplement your diet by taking a vitamin or other health product. A good one to look for would be ones that has these nutrients in it (or at least as many of these as possible):

    Vitamins A, C, and E,
    Calcium and vitamin D,
    B vitamins and folic acid
    Selenium and zinc,
    Omega-3, 6, and 9 oils
    Beta carotene

    Sometimes you can purchase items such as Omega-3, 6, or 9 oils separately. These essential substances help you remain heart healthy. This nutrient is often found in flax seed oils as well as certain fish oils (i.e. salmon or mackerel), and it also is found in certain nuts and seeds (i.e. almonds, walnuts, or pecans).

Gloria Brown
Women's health and wellness retreat leader providing vacations and trips for women to get in shape -- and stay that way! On CleansePlan.com you can find my articles about weight loss, health and women's issues. Please feel free to contact me on gloria@cleanseplan.com

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