Colon Cancer: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Colon Cancer Symptoms

Cancer of the colon is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancer types, the symptoms of which can be manifested in different ways. Listed below are the most widely reported symptoms of the disease, which should never be overlooked. So, if you notice any of them, there is no time to wait. This does not necessarily mean that you have cancer, because the symptoms may be associated with other diseases. However, it is better to undergo a series of tests to find out whether you need medical help or not. Thus, the most common colon cancer symptoms include:

  • Bleeding from the rectum and blood in the stool or on the underwear (by the way, many people mistakenly tend to associate these symptoms with hemorrhoids and lose precious time required to save their lives)
  • Terry or black stool, which is observed on a regular basis (the thing is that blood in the stool may not be that obvious and if the tumor is located in the distant parts of the colon, the blood may be digested, thus causing the black color of the stool)
  • Low hemoglobin levels in the blood, which is the sign of constant hidden bleeding in the organism
  • Fatigue, loss of consciousness, recurrent dizziness, persistent weight loss
  • Diarrhea, constipation or the feeling of insufficient bowel movement
  • Bowel obstruction, which mostly develops, when the tumor is large enough not to allow proper colon functioning. These situations just cannot be left unnoticed, because the condition of a patient gets worse with every passing day. The symptoms of bowel obstruction include repeated bloating, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, abdominal pain, enormously sticking belly (or parts of it), narrow or ribbon-like stool, change of the regular bowel movement process, the feeling of incomplete bowel evacuation etc.

Experts underline that the average duration of these symptoms lasts for about 2 weeks. This is the time needed to a person to understand that something bad is going on in the organism and seek medical help.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Before diagnosing colon cancer, a doctor recommends a patient to undergo a series of analyses and medical tests. These include:

  • Blood, urine and stool tests
  • Fecal occult blood testing (FOBT)
  • Digital or physical rectal exam
  • Colonoscopy, which is an obligatory endoscopic test that is generally done with the use of sedative medications and shows, what is going on inside the colon and can identify the existence and exact location of the tumor, polyps or other problems
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy, which is needed to examine the rectum and the lower parts of the colon
  • Computer tomography colonography
  • Anti-contrast barium enema followed by the X-ray procedure

If you have been diagnosed with colon cancer on time, you have to find out as much as you can about all the possible colon cancer treatment methods, which are the most effective and safe in your case. As of today, these treatments methods are as follows:

  • Surgical intervention, which implies removing the affected part of the colon
  • Chemotherapy, which follows the surgery and may help prevent the advanced development of the disease in case the tumor has affected the lymph nodes
  • Radioactive treatment, which also follows the surgery and is especially effective in the treatment of patients suffering from rectal cancer. The procedure is not quite effective, when it comes to curing the patients with colon cancer.
  • In cases of the colorectal type of the disease, doctors may decide to create a permanent or temporary colostomy. While the latter variant is a temporary solution, which is required to restore the functioning of the colon after the surgery, the permanent colostomy may be left for a lifetime, thus triggering many problems and stresses. The decision depends upon the type, location and stage of colon cancer you have, the treatment and the prognoses of oncologists.

Anyway, your doctor will make everything possible to help you get rid of the disease and resume your previous lifestyle. However, you will have to see your oncologist and undergo a series of tests and procedures on a regular basis to prevent the development of the new forms of the disease.

The Future of Colon Cancer Diagnosis and Treatments

The colon is considered as one of the most important parts of our digestive system. When the malignant tissue in the Colon grows then the Colon Cancer is occurred. The digestive system is harmed by it very seriously. It is the most harmful cancer of all.

This disease is mainly caused by incorrect eating habits. High fiber diets like vegetables and fruits are responsible for reducing the risk of this disease. If anyone in the family has had this disease then there is a huge chance of getting affected by this disease. The symptoms are widely found in older people. Most of patients are of above 50 age who need colon cancer treatments. Most of the people are not aware of the reason for these symptom.

The most common disease symptoms are abdominal pain; constipation; blood spots in stool; diarrhea; any other bowel related activity etc. These are not normal digestion related problems. In case of any abnormalities in your body you should consult the doctor immediately to be confirmed if you have the disease or not.

Always ask for effective colon cancer treatments. Correct diagnosis is essential for effective treatment. Doctors might advice you to go for some tests that are helpful for determining if you have this disease. Most of the colon cancer tests need an empty bowel to do a bit of preparation before examining the test. A special type of x-ray and colonoscopy are used for diagnosing the disease. These tests are quite painful because various types of instruments and substances are inserted into the body of the patient. Biopsy is the kind of test that can detect this disease.

The treatments that work are entirely dependent on the stage of the cancer. In order to get effective treatment the colon cancer symptoms should be detected at a very early stage. The number of colon cancer treatments is huge.

The researches and doctors are always trying to look for newer and better ways of treatment of this disease. Till now there is nothing better than surgical treatments. The main aim of the treatments for this disease is to remove the tissues which have been affected by cancer. Two modern treatments that are used for treating colon cancer are chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The treatment for the colon cancer of various stages is not same. Anatomists is the treatment for first stage of colon cancer. At the last stage most of the patients are taken to the operating room for surgery as there is no better way to get relief than that.