Colon cancer is the cancer of the large intestine. Although, it is mostly senior individuals who get affected by the condition, it can occur at any age. Its symptoms are not easily noticeable and can often be mistaken for those of another condition, making it difficult to diagnose. In this article, we will talk about the causes and symptoms of colon cancer.
Causes of colon cancer
- Certain lifestyle habits
Consuming food items that are cooked, grilled, or fried at high temperatures increase your chances of developed colon cancer. Also, if you lead a sedentary lifestyle and do not consume nutritious vegetables and fruits, it can increase your vulnerability to the disease.
Although colon cancer can occur at any age, it mostly affects older adults. More specifically, it affects people over the age of 45. Numerically, almost 95 percent of cases of colon cancer occur in people who have crossed the age of 45; however, the median age is 68.
One of the reasons why colon cancer develops is because of precancerous polyps, which begin in the large intestine. More specifically, there are two common kinds of polyps namely Adenomas and Hyperplastic polyps. Either of these polyps can later grow into colon cancer if they are not surgically removed at an early stage.
- Underlying diseases
There are some conditions that can either increase your chances of developing colon cancer or later develop into colon cancer if not treated at the right time. These include diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and acromegaly, among others.
According to research, obesity has been linked with colon cancer. Firstly, obesity has risk factors such as a poor diet, being deficient in minerals and vitamins, and wrong lifestyle choices, which are common with colon cancer. Also, in the case of obesity, there is a change in the function of the cells since the hormones lead to their irregular growth in the colon region.
Symptoms of colon cancer
- Blood in the stool
Blood in feces is one of the most common symptoms of colon cancer. The blood can be noticed both on or in the stool. This sign can also signify other problems such as fissures, hemorrhoids, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease.
- Bowel habits change
Symptoms such as diarrhea, narrowed stools, constipation, bowel incontinence, and incomplete emptying of the bowels become evident in the case of colon cancer.
Anemia is one of the main symptoms of colon cancer. In this case, you will have a very low number of red blood cells in your body.
A little caution could help you ascertain the right course of treatment if the cancer is identified in time. Now that you know the causes and symptoms of colon cancer, it is advised to take proactive measures if you notice any indications. It is highly recommended by the American Cancer Society to get yourself screened regularly after you cross the age of 45.