Colon cancer is more common than you might think. It is the third most common type of cancer in the United Kingdom. Though it can happen at any age, it typically affects older adults. Colon cancer begins in the large intestines. The colon or large intestine is responsible for drawing out water and salt from solid wastes and moving this through the rectum. Colon cancer begins as small noncancerous clumps of cells which form inside of the colon. These polyps can become cancerous over time. Removal of colon polyps can help in preventing colorectal cancer.
Symptoms of Colon Cancer
Colon cancer does not show symptoms in the earliest stages. However, the symptoms may tend to show up as it progresses to advanced stages. Some of the common signs and symptoms of colon cancer are:
- Constipation or Diarrhoea
- Change in stool consistency
- Abdominal pain, cramping and bloating
- Blood in the stool
- Weakness and fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Iron deficiency
- A Continuous urge to defecate
If colon cancer is not treated on time, it can spread to other parts of the body such as the liver causing other sets of symptoms.
Who is at a Risk of Getting Colon Cancer?
Factors that may increase your chances of getting colon cancer include:
Older age- Although colon cancer can occur at any age, but people who are older than fifty are at a higher risk of getting colon cancer. The studies suggest that the rate of colon cancer in people who are older than fifty is higher than those who are not.
Inflammatory Intestinal Conditions- Chronic inflammatory diseases of the colon can increase your chances of colon cancer. If you suffer from diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, you are at high risk of colon cancer.
Family History– If you have a family history of colon cancer, you are more likely to develop colon cancer. If one or more members of your family have colon cancer, your risk of getting cancer is even higher.
High-fat diet- Colorectal cancer may be linked with low-fibre and high-fat diet. Research has shown that the risk of colon cancer is higher in people who eat diets which are high in fats and calories and low in fibre.
Sedentary Life style- People who are not active or do not exercise are more likely to develop this cancer. It is advisable undertake regular physical activity and maintain a healthy life style in order to reduce your chances of colon cancer.
What is a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a life-saving procedure that is used as a screening test for colon cancer. Colonoscopy is proven to detect diseases early. A colonoscopy doctor can spot and remove polyps during a colonoscopy. During a colonoscopy, a long narrow tube that has an HD camera attached at the end of it is used to evaluate the rectum and colon.
A colonoscopy can also detect conditions like diverticulosis, inflammatory bowel disease and colitis. If a colonoscopy doctor spots polyps, he can painlessly remove them during the same colonoscopy.
Important Details You Should Know About Colonoscopy
A Colonoscopy is Painless- Yes, you heard it right! Colonoscopy is painless. The patients will be given the medicine through IV sedation to keep them comfortable and pain-free during the procedure. Soreness is only generally noted at the site of the IV..
You Need to prepare for colonoscopy- Some people feel that the colonoscopy preparation is unpleasant, but it is crucial to prepare for the procedure. A colonoscopy doctor will ask you to drink a prescribed laxative that will cause loose bowels for some time. After a period of rest, you will again need to take the second half of the laxative. This session of passing bowel motions will not be as intense as the first one because the majority of your faecal matter has already been flushed out. After this you are ready for the quick colonoscopy procedure.
A Colonoscopy is Quick- A colonoscopy procedure takes less than a half day, but it is recommended to take a day off to recover from the sedation.
You are not too young for a colonoscopy- No matter what your age, if you experience blood in the stool, fatigue, weakness or change in your bowel habits talk to your doctor immediately. Recent studies have shown that there has been a rise in colorectal cancer among adults in their twenties and thirties..
The above facts are some of the important details you need to know about colonoscopy. The procedure is typically done at an endoscopy centre by an experienced colonoscopy doctor. If you have been experiencing weakness, fatigue, change in your bowel movements, make an appointment with a colonoscopy doctor immediately.
Colonoscopy is a life-saving procedure that can remove cancer-causing polyps, hence reducing the chances of death from colorectal cancer.