The human body, amongst many other functions, is designed to be able to ingest food, breakdown these ingested foods, process and evacuate waste products from the body. This task of waste processing and evacuation is carried out by the Colon and Rectum, collectively known as the Large Intestine found in the Abdominal cavity. When the Colon and Rectum become cancerous, the ailment is known as Colorectal Cancer.
Based on function, the 6 foot long Colon that serves as a link for the small intestine and rectum, is the main part of the Large Intestine that drains water from stool and stores up the stool, while the 8 foot long Rectum acts as the evacuator of the stool that has been received from the Colon.
The inner walls of the Colorectal muscular tube is an ever-welcoming location for tiny tumors known as Polyp and studies have shown that most Colorectal Cancer develops as a result of the presence of Polyps.
In this write-up, we will provide you with a broad insight into this type of cancer.
What Are The Risk Factors Associated With Colorectal Cancer
Most times there is no vivid cause of Colorectal cancer, however, what is known is that this Cancer occurs as a result of gene mutation in the cells of the colon.
However, there are factors that can increase your risk of developing this form of cancer. Some of these factors include:
1. High Fat and Low Fiber Diet:
Since fiber-rich foods help in easy digestion and bowel movement, studies have confirmed that your increased consumption of foods that do not have a good quantity of fiber content or foods that are rich in fat such as red meat, can increase your chances of developing Colorectal cancer.
Although this form of cancer can occur in young people, it is more common among people who are 50 years and above.
3. Personal and Family History Of Colon Cancer:
There is a major likelihood of recurrence of this cancer if you have suffered it in the past. Also, if any of your family members have been previously diagnosed with Colorectal cancer, it increases your risk of getting this disease.
4. Sedentary Lifestyle:
A lifestyle that does not involve a good quantity of exercise also puts you at risk of developing this type of cancer.
5. Inherited Colon Cancer Syndrome:
Gene mutation for this cancer which is inherited, such as Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) and Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC) can be passed through family lineage putting members of the family at risk of developing this cancer.
6. Insulin Resistance And Obesity:
People who suffer insulin resistance, as well as obese people, have a higher tendency of getting this cancer.
7. Smoking and High Alcohol Intake:
Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking can put you at risk of Colorectal cancer.
What Are The Symptoms Of Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer usually does not show any symptoms in its initial phase. However, as cancer progresses, you will begin to notice symptoms such as:
Sensation to have a bowel movement or the feeling that you have not fully emptied your bowels.
Noticeable difference in your regular bowel movements such as constant loose stool or constipation.
Traces of blood in your stool or bleeding in the rectum.
Pain around the pelvic region.
Loss of appetite, weakness, and loss of weight without any known reason.
Pain, cramps, discomfort or gas in your abdominal region.
Diagnosis and Test To Detect Colorectal Cancer
Since Colorectal cancer does not show any signs and symptoms at its early stages, regular rectum examination, as well as various other tests, offer the best chance of detecting this cancer. Furthermore, just like most other cancers, early detection gives a higher survival and treatment chance for this cancer.
In addition, the most common form of test for the diagnosis of this cancer is Colonoscopy. During the colonoscopy, your doctor will insert a tube into your colorectal muscular tube to examine your colon and rectum in order to look for any abnormality that may give rise to cancer.
Other tests used to diagnose this cancer include:
Fecal immunochemical test.
Guaiac fecal occult test.
Stool DNA test.
Proctoscopy for Rectal Cancer.
Treatment Of Colorectal Cancer
For this form of cancer, the treatment options that are available include:
It is possible to live a normal healthy life after getting treatment for colorectal cancer. However, it is also of utmost significance that you adopt and maintain a healthy diet and daily lifestyle, ensure that you have followed up visits and examination with your doctor even after your treatment. In addition to this, be sure to monitor your aftercare medications and speak to your physician or nurse if you notice any difference or change during the course of the medication.