Colon cancer is a disease that develops as the colon mucosa contained in an existing polyp evolves for different reasons to become a malignant tumor. Normally the malignant cells are located in the intermediate and longer of the intestine portion.
This type of cancer is one of the most common worldwide and also the easiest to diagnose. In addition, the cure rates are high if it is detected early and takes a long time to develop.
The colon, along with the rectum (final portion of the large intestine) is the place where feces are stored before being expelled to the outside through the year. In charge of this task, it accumulates waste substances, so it is a suitable place for the emergence of a cancer. That is why it is important to minimize the time of accumulation by adopting a balanced diet that facilitates proper intestinal transit, preventing constipation.
Colon cancer can grow in three ways:
Local growth: in this case the tumor invades deeply all the layers of the wall of the digestive tract. First, the malignant tumor grows from the mucosa, spans the serosa and reaches the muscle layers. When cancer crosses the wall of the intestine can spread to all organs.
Lymphatic spread: when tumor is deepening in the wall of the intestine can reach organs using the network of lymph vessels that allow access to multiple lymph nodes regions. One of the characteristics of this broadcast is is done in an orderly manner first reaching the nearby nodes until you reach the farthest.
Hematogenous dissemination: here the tumor uses the bloodstream to spread cancer cells to the liver, lungs, bones and brain, mainly.
Causes The main causes that cause this disease are:
Age: Most cases of colon cancer are located in people between 65 and 75 years although there may be cases that appear between 35 and 40 years. If diagnosed before that age it is often due to that the patient has a genetic predisposition to suffer from this disease.
Diet: Colon cancer appears to be associated with diets rich in fat and poor in fiber. In this sense, currently numerous investigations are being conducted.
Inheritance: In colon cancer it plays an important role genetics, since there is the possibility of further transmission of hereditary and predisposes the person to suffer the disease. However, this can be detected and allow to treat cancer early.
Medical history: it has been shown that those who have a greater predisposition to suffer from this disease are people who have or have had colon polyps (benign growth) or straight, ulcerative colitis (inflammatory bowel disease), cancer of the breast, uterus or ovaries.
First or second degree relatives who also have had colon cancer.
Lifestyle: there are certain factors which depend on the lifestyle and which predispose to the occurrence of cancer of the colon, as, for example, obesity, sedentary lifestyle and smoking.
Colorectal cancer has a long evolution and its symptoms can vary depending on the location of the tumor in the large intestine. The most frequent inconvenience are at the advanced stage of the disease. However, these symptoms are not unique to colon cancer and may occur in other conditions such as hemorrhoids or certain digestive disorders. Specialists recommend to go to the doctor as soon as they appear to facilitate the diagnosis is performed properly. The most common are:
Changes in the bowel
Patients who have colon cancer may, in some cases, have diarrhea and, in others, constipation. The second option is common in people who previously to the disease had a normal bowel. However, the most common option is that the patient suffers periods of constipation, combined with periods in which suffers from diarrhea.
Blood in the stool
The most common symptom of this malignant tumor is that this patient blood in the stool. The color of the blood can be red or black. The presence of red blood occurs mainly when the person presents the part distal colon and rectum tumors. In the case of the black blood, this color appears because the blood is digested and proceeds next sections of the colon leading to do black which are known with the name of Manes. If this symptom is not diagnosed early and the patient does not receive adequate treatment can worsen and lead to the emergence of an anemia. In these cases the patient may suffer dizziness, tiredness or having the feeling that missing air, among other symptoms.
On the other hand, the patient can detect that your bowel movements change size and are narrower. This occurs because the bowel is narrowing.
If the tumors are located in the distal part of the colon, the patient may also have the feeling that failure to complete the deposition and that evacuation is incomplete.
Pain or abdominal discomfort
Discomfort and abdominal pains tend to be very common. This is because the tumor partly obstruct the intestinal tube and produced a situation similar to the cramping and pain. In some cases the closing of the tube can reach completion and an intestinal obstruction, in these situations, it is necessary that the patient will receive urgent surgical care.
Weight loss without apparent cause, loss of appetite and constant tiredness
Like other stomach-related diseases, colon cancer, especially when you are in an advanced State has these symptoms.