Cancer is the malignant tumor that later metastasized to distance organ,other type of tumor is benign which doesn’t spread to distant organ nor leads to death. Our focus today is on colon cancer which is a malignant tumor of the colon (the interior of the large intestine which is 6 feets long) otherwise known as colorectal cancer, it is the third leading cancer in U.S. in both men and women.
Colon and rectum are the final portions of the alimentary canal where undigested foods is absorbed.colorectal cancer is an adenocarcinoma i.e a cancer of lining tissue in the body.
Risk factors include:
1. Age ;colon cancer occur mostly after 50yrs however unfortunately it’s not like that in Chadwick the wakanda king who died two days ago at the age of 43yrs,Also phelon ervin from Texas disclose in an interview yesterday that he was diagnosed with colorectal cancer at 28 years and he has been managing it for 10 years now. This shows there is reduction in age at which it occurs or probably other risk factors predispose them to premature colon cancer.
2.race;African-American race are the most at risk
3. Family history;thou majority (80%) of colon cancer patient do not get it from their family
4.underlying medical problem e.g. colitis, sclerosing cholagitis
5. Diet;eating foods rich in fat can predispose one to colon cancer
7. Consumption of alcohol
But what causes colon cancer?
Cells of colon divides frequently and this leads to growth within the colon known as polyps,with genetic mutation precancerous polyp become cancerous however if removed on time there won’t be something like colon cancer as it takes about 10yrs for it to fully develop
Removal of polyp is dependent on showcase of symptoms but it’s saddening that it might have developed into colon cancer before one is aware as it doesn’t display symptoms until later and some symptoms you will observe include:
- Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
- Dark-coloured stool
- Narrow stools
- Weight loss
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Excessive gas
- Abdominal pain
From stage I (least advanced) to stage IV (most advanced),it progresses and spread to lungs, liver,prostate, breast,ovary and other distant organs, this process of spread of cancer to distance organs is known as Metastasis.
Diagnosis of colon cancer include the following
1. Sigmoidoscopy:This is process of using shorter tube to examine the left colon and rectum only
2. Colonscopy :This is the procedure whereby long tube is inserted into the rectum to examine the colon as a whole
3.CEA (Carcinoembryonic antigen) which is a tumor marker
4.FOBT (Faecal occult blood testing)
5.stool DNA testing
6.FIT (Fecal immunochemical test)
8.CT scan ;special form is known as virtual colonscopy.
How long can one survive colon cancer?
With early diagnosis,the survival rate is 5-yrs with the use of necessary treatment methods and even if it is removed, its likely it recur.with advanced stages of the cancer,the prognosis of 5yrs reduces.according to a 2019 study, the survival rate at stage IV is 3 months on average.
Treatment of colon cancer
The most common method for early stage of the cancer is surgery,also it is the best procedure.however with advancement into other stages, there’s need for other methods of treatment including:
1.chemotherapy:it can extend the life of the patient and improves quality of life, chemotherapy include combination of drugs either orally or intravenous.some side effects of chemotherapy as a form of colon cancer treatments include:anaemia, loss of energy, hair loss,vomiting, diarrhoea etc.
2. Radiotherapy :This method is commonly used at stage IV to reduce pain from recurrent colon cancer, some of its side effects include fatigue, hair loss, skin irritation etc.
Although some risk factors of Colon cancer are fixed and unpreventable however most are preventable, and they are:
- Early removal of polyps
- Reduce intake of fats and increase fibre intake
- Maintain healthy weight
- Quit smoking
What brought about the inspiration to write on colon cancer was the tragic death of beloved actor Chadwick boseman who died of it, sincere and heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and fans. Goodbye our wakanda king, Don’t think only the old needs to take care of themselves you need start when young,I once read an article that at early 20’s you can have stroke if care is not taken..yea the youngs are getting sicker each day due to poor awareness.I hope we all stay healthy and live a worthy life
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