Early Symptoms of Colon Cancer

The big ‘C-word’ is something that many of us hope to never have to experience, but paying attention to the early symptoms of colon cancer could help to save one from a very nasty and even untreatable cancer experience. Cancer, in a general sense, is a disease in which cells within the body become abnormal and divide, eventually taking over an area of the body and spreading to other areas. Typically, the body’s cells only divide and expand as and when the body needs them. When cells continue to divide unhindered—whether the body needs new cells or not—a mass builds up. This is called a tumor. If the cells within the tumor are not found to be abnormal, then the tumor is deemed “benign”. If the cells within the tumor are abnormal, then the tumor is considered “malignant”, or cancerous. Generally this type of tumor will try to spread to other parts of the body where a benign tumor typically won’t.

So, what is colon cancer?

Well, the colon is the portion of the intestinal tract where the feces are stored. The rectum is the southernmost portion of the colon which leads to the anus. Together, these two organs make up the large intestine. When a tumor develops on the inside wall of the large intestine, there is a chance that it could be malignant, which would lead to a diagnosis of colon cancer. If the tumor is not cancerous, it is called a polyp and is not considered life threatening. Benign tumors of this nature can easily be removed during a procedure called a colonoscopy. It is important that even benign tumors be removed as soon as possible because the longer they remain in the large intestine, the greater the risk of the tumor becoming cancerous.

What are the early symptoms of colon cancer?

The early symptoms of colon cancer can be nearly impossible to detect, mainly because cancer is very rarely painful in the early stages. In most cases of colon cancer, it all starts with a benign polyp that goes undiagnosed for too long. Because these polyps can often take years to grow to the size in which they finally start producing symptoms, early detection is, again, made difficult. This type of cancer generally only produces symptoms in the advanced stages. The best way to catch colon cancer early on is to have regular colon screenings done.

There are a few symptoms which have been linked to colon cancer, however these also overlap with many other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, gas, and low fiber in the diet. Because of this overlap, it can be extremely difficult to pinpoint whether the cause truly is cancer or another more common condition. Blood in the stool, the feeling of needing to have a bowel movement without producing, constipation, ribbon-like stools, abdominal pain, and fatigue. All of these symptoms can be generated by an obstruction, or tumor, within the large intestine.

Can colon cancer be treated?

A malignant tumor within the colon will eventually spread to other areas if it is not removed. When the cancerous cells from the colon spread to other areas of the body, such as the liver, the cancer is still considered to be colon or colorectal cancer, rather than liver cancer because the initial cells containing the abnormality are colonic. In some cases, when the cancer is caught within the early stages, there is a chance that the entire tumor and all of its cancerous cells can be successfully removed. If after a long period of time the patient does not show any signs of cancer, the cancer is considered to be in complete remission. The procedure of removing a cancerous tumor can easily become a major procedure depending on how much tissue has to be removed (based on how far the cancer has spread) and whether the cancer has spread to vital organs which cannot be removed.


 

 

 

 


  • Colon Disorders Home
  • |
  • Colon Cancer Early Symptoms
  • |
  • Colon Problems
  • |
  • Colon Removal Surgery
  • |
  • Impacted Colon
  • |
  • Prolapsed Colon
  • |
  • Deep Colon Cleanse
  • |
  • Twisted Colon Symptoms
  • |
  • Site Map
  • |
  • Terms of Use
  • |
  • Privacy Policy