Colon and rectal cancers have many similar features that are common in both men and women. However, they usually do not present immediate symptoms, so it is necessary to recognize them as soon as they appear in order to apply an effective and rapid treatment.
What is colon and rectal cancer?
Colorectal cancer, also called colon or rectal cancer, starts in the last part of the large intestine, when tumors begin to form in the inner or outer lining of the intestine near the colon or rectum. They generally appear more frequently in men and women from the age of 50.
Causes of Cancer
This cancer occurs when small growths form in the inner part of the large intestine, called polyps, which can be considered precancerous (adenomas). Polyps tend to evolve gradually into cancer, they are a health hazard.
A polyp can become cancer when:
-he measures more than one centimeter,
-there is more than one polyp in the same area
-after the polyp is removed, there are strange and abnormal cells around it.
Only the histological (microscopic) study of a biopsy or of the polyp itself affirms its benign character. The endoscopic aspect is misleading and cannot in any case be sufficient.
Signs and symptoms
Symptoms that reveal colorectal cancer can take time to appear, so it is advisable to be very careful if you notice any of these signs on a recurring basis. You may feel them as if it were just a pain in your stomach, until it gets stronger.
Among the main symptoms are constipation or diarrhea, or even a chronic feeling of urge to go to the bathroom, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, muscle weakness or weight loss and heavy fluid consumption.
Any diagnosed polyp should be removed during the colonoscopy, if it is not too large, or if there are not many of them. In these cases, surgical excision of a portion of the colon may be necessary (we speak of polypectomy).
Microscopic examination of the structure and organization of the polyp is necessary: excisional biopsy, simple biopsy or surgical specimen.
To treat cancer of the rectum or colon, several methods are applied depending on the patient’s state of health, his personal decision and the stage of the cancer. In the case of local cancers, it is systematic to resort to surgery to extract the tumors as soon as possible. Systemic or general treatments include options such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or the use of anti-cancer drugs.
Preventive methods include adopting a healthy lifestyle, regularly visiting a doctor, and paying attention to a sudden change in body anatomy and daily bowel movements.
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