Cancer is incredibly common, and colon cancer is becoming a real problem for many Americans. If you are worried about your digestive health or if you're worried you have a risk factor for colon cancer, you may want to learn more about colon cancer and treatment. For more information, keep reading.
What Causes Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer develops when abnormal cells in the colon develop, mutate, and grow. They often start as small polyps or sacks inside the colon, which are easily removed during colonoscopy treatment. Naturally, there is no leading cause of colon cancer, but there are many risk factors. One of the biggest risk factors is consuming an "American diet," which is usually heavy in fried foods, processed foods, sugary foods, high-fat dairy, refined grains, and red meat.
Other risk factors include:
If you have an immediate family member (sibling, parent, or child) who has had colon cancer, you may also have a higher risk, and your doctor may recommend early colon cancer screening with colonoscopies.
What Are the Symptoms of Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer usually affects the end of your digestive system, causing:
Of course, like any form of cancer, colon cancer may also cause fatigue, weakness, and unexplained weight loss.
How Is Colon Cancer Treatment?
Cancer treatment largely depends on the stage. At first, the doctor may simply remove some polyps or tissue from the large intestine. Some patients may need portions of the large intestine removed. In more advanced stages, you may also need surgery to remove tissue from other parts of the body or lymph nodes.
In the late stages, cancer has spread to other organs and parts of the body. As a result, surgery alone may not be possible or feasible. You may need chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other treatments to help kill the abnormal cells. Unfortunately, these often come with a host of negative side effects, but you can ask your doctor about treatments to help reduce the unpleasant side effects.
Colon cancer is common, especially among older Americans. Luckily, you can take some steps to reduce your risk like eating a healthy diet, but if you think you need help, contact your doctor. For more information, contact an oncologist today.
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