In more than 60 percent of patients, at the time of diagnosis of the disease, it was already advanced, so it is important to know how to recognize and discuss the unpleasant symptoms.
How common is colon cancer (colorectal cancer)?
This is the second most common cancer diagnosed in the US. Less than 10 percent of patients are younger than 50, the highest number is diagnosed between the ages of 50 and 75 years old. If the cancer is detected at an early stage, before it spreads to the entire wall of the colon and neighboring organs, the possibility of cure is very high. Fatality rate can be reduced to as much as one-third if systematic screening of the population over 50 years is preceded regularly and appropriate measures are taken. It is important to alert your doctor to any symptoms that you develop.
What are the symptoms?
If you notice any of these symptoms, and they occur more than three weeks, a visit to the doctor is mandatory.
– Blood in the stool
– Any changes in bowel habits (more often, constipation, stools become softer or harder)
– Unexplained weight loss
– Stomach ache
How is it diagnosed and treated?
Usually the doctor will discuss with you about the symptoms. For early detection occult hematest (review in bleeding in the stool) is used, then colonoscopy, which examine the rectum and lower part of the bowel and the entire colon, x-ray of the colon and rectum, and digital examination of the rectum. For most of these visits, your doctor will refer you to a specialist.
Treatment depends on the stage of the disease, the characteristics of the tumor and the general health condition of the patient. Treatment may be surgically, with radiation therapy (radiotherapy), and with a variety of drugs (chemotherapy, hormonal, biological products).
What are the risk factors?
Age: Risk increases with age, because in most cases it occurs after the age of 50.
Heredity: Approximately 25 percent of colon cancer is associated with family history. If brother or sister suffers from colon cancer your risk of having the same disease is higher. About one eighth of the cases of colorectal cancer are the result of genetic factors. If you have a cancer in the family, you can test on hereditary colon cancer (HNPCC) and familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).
Other colon diseases are chronic disorders in bowel, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
How to prevent this disease?
Up to 70 percent of colorectal cancer is preventable.
Increase fiber intake. Consuming more whole grains and other cereals (especially oats) and leguminous plants can reduce the risk by 40 percent.
Eat less red meat. A small steak (3-4 oz) of red meat a day can increase the risk by 30 percent.
In South Asia, the risk of bowel cancer is six times lower than in the US. And what is the reason?
It is turmeric or its main ingredient curcumin, which local people consume it one teaspoon daily. Currently, clinical studies on curcumin prove that it actually slows the growth of cancer cells in the gut.