Colon cancer: symptoms, who is at risk, and how to prevent the disease

Colorectal cancer (also known as “colon cancer”) is a type of cancer that develops in the large intestine (in its later parts, the colon and rectum). Statistics from the American cancer Society show that approximately 5% of people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer during their lifetime. Regular exams can help detect early disease and start treatment on time. In addition, healthier lifestyle choices can help reduce the risk of cancer, although some risk factors cannot be controlled. Statistics show which types of cancer are the most deadly. Learn more with the video below and take regular care of yourself.

The problem with colon cancer is that, as for other types of cancer, it often shows no symptoms in its early stages. But otherwise, they come in the following forms (which also apply to more advanced stages):

-constipation or constant diarrhea;

-Blood in stool;

-Rectal bleeding;

-Pain and/or cramps in the abdomen;


– excessive flatulence;

– feeling of satiety in the intestines;

– weakness and fatigue;

– unexplained weight loss.

The exact causes of colon cancer are not known exactly. For now, researchers know that colorectal cancer develops when an anomaly occurs in healthy cells. These cells divide while new cells aren’t needed, and they don’t die when they are supposed to. This leads to the formation of a tumor.

Many factors can increase your risk of developing this disease. Some can not be controlled, but others can be managed well enough to lower your risk of colon cancer. These risk factors include:

– age: most people can be diagnosed after the age of 50;

– ethnicity: for unknown reasons, African-Americans and Eastern European Jews are at greater risk;

– family history of colon cancer;

– certain hereditary genetic mutations;

– have already suffered from colon cancer or polyps;

– inflammatory bowel disease

– an unhealthy diet that is low in fiber and high in fat, especially if this fat comes from red meat and processed;

– lack of physical activity;

– diabetes;

– overweight or obese;

– smoking;

– excessive consumption of alcohol ;

– radiotherapy for other cancers of the abdomen.

You can take steps to prevent colorectal cancer. They include:

– discuss with your doctor how often you need to do tests and which ones;

– eat a healthy and varied diet: make sure to include more fruits, vegetables and whole grains;

– limit your alcohol consumption or stop drinking completely;

– stop smoking; if you smoke and it’s too difficult to stop, ask your doctor for advice on methods that will help you to quit this habit;

– try to do enough exercise regularly;

– control your weight;

– If your risk is high, ask your doctor to talk about medications that can help you reduce this risk.

Sources: Mayo Clinic, HealthLine, WebMD

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