What is Colon Cancer or Cancer of the Colon?

The colon cancer or cancer of the colon is a cancer affecting the colon (the large intestines) with the stages 1-4 as shown in the image above, this is at the bottom part of the digestive tract. Rectal cancer is a type of cancer of the last few inches of the large intestine. They are often known as colorectal or bowel cancer together.

Noncancerous (benign) cell clumps that are small are the initial stages of colon cancer in most cases known as polyps. Colon cancer accrues due to these ignored polyps.

Polyps might be small and few symptoms are produced if any. Colon cancer or cancer of the colon can be prevented through regular screening test in order to detect polyps at its early stage prior to becoming cancerous.

What Causes Colon Cancer or Cancer of the Colon?

What Causes Colon Cancer

The cause of colon cancer or cancer of the colon is not clear in most cases. Alteration of the healthy colon cells is the cause of colon cancer or cancer of the colon, according to doctors. The function of the body is kept in normal state due the growth and division of healthy cells. With the cells being damaged and becoming cancerous, cell division continues, even if cell production is not needed. Neighboring tissues can be invaded and destroyed by these cancer cells.

  1. Growth of Polyps or Clumps in the Beginning Stages of Colon Cancer or Cancer of the Colon

    Precancerous cell (polyps) or clumps is the origin of most colon cancer or cancer of the colon, beginning in the lining of the inside of your colon. Polyps take mushroom shaped appearance, or they can appear recessed and flat in your colon's walls. Colon cancer or cancer of the colon can be prevented by the removal of polyps prior to becoming cancerous.

  2. The Escalation Of Colon Cancer or Cancer of the Colon Risk Due To Inherited Gene Mutations

    Despite being linked to a small percentage of colon cancer or cancer of the colon, inherited gene mutation raises the risk of passing colon cancer or cancer of the colon through families. An individual's risk to cancer can be increased by inherited gene mutation significantly despite not making one inevitable. Inherited cancer syndromes that are the most common are:

    • FAP's or Familial adenomatous polyposis: The rarity of FAP as a disorder causing the development of polyps in the rectum and colon's walls is high. Development of colon cancer before 40 is high in individuals with untreated FAP.
    • HNPCC or Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer: Another name for HNPCC is "Lynch Syndrome" and increases colon cancer risks. Individuals with HNPCC or Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer risks developing cancer before they are 50 years old.
    • HNPCC, FAP and other inherited cancer of the colon syndromes are detectable through testing of genes. Seek your doctor's view if you have a family history of cancer of the colon if you think you are at risk of the condition.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Colon Cancer or Cancer of the Colon?

In the early onset of the diseases, the symptoms cannot be felt by the patient. Varied signs and symptoms are likely to appear depending on the location of the cancer in the colon and its size.

Colon cancer or cancer of the colon signs and symptoms include:

  • Change in the habit of the bowel, which include constipation, diarrhea and alteration of your stool consistency.
  • Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding.
  • Abdominal discomfort that persist, cramps pain or gas.
  • The notion that the bowel does not completely empty.
  • Fatigue or weakness.
  • Weight loss unexpectedly.

What is the Difference Between Colon Cancer/Cancer of the Colon or Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids and colon cancer are conditions that are different. Blood can be produced in stool due to both. It might be alarming to see blood in stool, especially without prior experience. Probably, you might have strained when the bowel is moving and hemorrhoid might have brought about the bleeding. A more serious indication can be the cause of the blood in your stool.

Signs and Symptoms of Hemorrhoids

Although blood is the main symptom that is common or blood in your tissue paper following wiping, other signs that warn are present too. Other signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids that are common are:

  • Itching and irritation.
  • Discomfort or pain when the bowel moves.
  • Painful sensitive lumps at the anus area.
  • Feces leakage.

Internal hemorrhoid can be painless but they can be extremely painful when they are located outside of the anus. There are fewer chances that hemorrhoids cause any cancer. Most of the time hemorrhoids do not cause colon cancer or cancer of the colon.

What are the Risk Factors for Colon Cancer or Cancer of the Colon?

Factors that are likely to increase the risk of colon cancer or cancer of the colon include:

  • Increase in the age: Most of the individuals with colon cancer diagnosis are above 50 years old. It is less frequent for colon cancer to occur in young individuals but it does occur.
  • African-American race: There is greater risk for African-Americans to have colon cancer or cancer of the colon than other races are.
  • History of colorectal cancer in an individual. Risk of colon cancer in future is high if you have had colon or rectal cancer already.
  • Intestinal inflammatory conditions: Colon's inflammatory chronic diseases, like ulcerative crohn's disease and colitis, raises colon cancer or cancer of the colon's risks.
  • Consumption of high-fat and low fiber diet. High calories and fat diet and low fiber are associated with development of colon cancer or cancer of the colon. Mixed results have been developed in this research. People eating red meat have been found to be a high risk in some of this research.
  • Sedentary lifestyle. Inactivity raises the potential of developing colon cancer or cancer of the colon. Reducing of colon cancer or cancer of the colon risks demand getting physical activity regularly.
  • Diabetes. Risks of colon cancer or cancer of the colon increases in people who are insulin resistant and diabetic.
  • Obesity. Risk of colon cancer or cancer of the colon is increased in people who are obese also they risk death due to colon cancer as compared with people weighing normally.
  • Smoking habits. Colon cancer or cancer of the colon is increased in people who smokes cigarette.
  • Alcohol addicts. Risk of colon cancer or cancer of the colon can be increased with alcohol intake.
  • Treating cancer with radiation therapy. Risk of colon cancer or cancer of the colon increases as a result of previous abdominal cancer treatment using radiation therapy.

What Complications are Involved in Colon Cancer or Cancer of the Colon?

Below mentioned are the major complications that are possible when it comes to colon cancer or cancer of the colon:

  • Spreading (metastasis) of cancer cells or polyps to other organs, like the liver, lungs, lymph nodes and pancreases can occur increasing the chances of dying.
  • Complication can occur due to colonoscopy procedures, for example small bowel obstruction, splenic rupture, postpolypectomy coagulation syndrome (abdominal bloating damages the lining of the colon), infection, bleeding and bloating (abdominal distention.)

Also Read:

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: December 2, 2015

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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