Colorectal Cancer

113. Colorectal cancer : bloody stool, mucous stool, symptoms, treatment

 

Colorectal cancer self-diagnosis

  1. I have anemia.
  2. Weight loss and loss of appetite.
  3. You see blood coming out of the anus or passing bloody stool.
  4. A lump (polyp) is felt in the abdomen.
  5. Constipation occurs, and diarrhea and constipation repeat.
  6. I see stool mixed with mucus.
  7. The thickness of the stool becomes thinner and there is a feeling of residual stool.
  8. Suddenly it becomes difficult to have a bowel movement or the frequency of bowel movements changes.
  9. I feel tired easily.
  10. Digestion is poor and muscle strength decreases.
  11. You suddenly feel nauseous or vomit.

If several of the following symptoms appear at the same time as early symptoms of colon cancer, we recommend that you visit a hospital immediately and receive treatment.

 

Introduction

Colorectal cancer, often referred to as colon or rectal cancer, is a significant health concern that affects the colon or rectum, which are parts of the digestive system. We will delve into the definition, causes, symptoms, management, treatment options, self-care, beneficial exercises, dietary recommendations, foods to avoid, and prevention strategies related to colorectal cancer.

 

Body

Definition of Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is a malignant tumor that originates in the colon or rectum. It typically begins as noncancerous polyps, which can eventually become cancerous if not removed. It is the third most common cancer worldwide, with significant morbidity and mortality rates.

 

Causes of Colorectal Cancer

While the exact cause of colorectal cancer is not fully understood, several risk factors have been identified:

 

  • Age: The risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with age, particularly in individuals over 50.
  • Family History: A family history of colorectal cancer or polyps can increase one’s risk.
  • Inherited Genetic Mutations: Certain genetic mutations, such as Lynch syndrome and familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), can predispose individuals to colorectal cancer.
  • Diet: A diet high in red and processed meats, as well as low in fiber, may contribute to an elevated risk.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and lack of physical activity can increase the likelihood of developing colorectal cancer.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Chronic conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are associated with a higher risk.

 

Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

Recognizing the early symptoms of colorectal cancer is crucial for timely diagnosis and treatment:

 

  • Change in Bowel Habits: Persistent diarrhea or constipation.
  • Blood in Stool: Visible blood or dark, tarry stools.
  • Abdominal Discomfort: Cramps, pain, or bloating.
  • Unexplained Weight Loss: Significant, unintentional weight loss.
  • Fatigue: Unexplained fatigue or weakness.
  • Anemia: Iron deficiency anemia due to blood loss.

It’s important to consult a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms, especially if they persist or worsen.

 

Symptoms of colon cancer from early to late stage

Colon cancer is divided into five different stages. The stage is determined based on the size of the tumor, how deeply it invades tissue, and whether it has spread to nearby lymph nodes. Below we will explain the five stages of colon cancer in detail.

 

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1. Step 1 (early stage of colon cancer)

At this stage, the tumor is confined to the inner wall of the large intestine.
Tumors are small and have little or no spread to surrounding tissue.
Spread to surrounding lymph nodes is rare, and the tumor is primarily confined to the interior of the colon.
Most patients are considered curable at this stage.
The survival rate in stage 1 is high, and early detection and treatment are important.

 

2. Step 2

In stage 2, the tumor spreads through the colon wall and into surrounding tissue.
Spread to surrounding lymph nodes is still rare but may occur.
Depending on tumor size and degree of invasion, it can be subdivided into 2A and 2B.
Even in stage 2, many patients can be cured through treatment.

 

3. Step 3

In stage 3, the tumor grows larger and infiltrates more surrounding tissue.
Spread to surrounding lymph nodes is more common.
Stage 3 is also treatable, but it may be more difficult to treat than early detection.

 

4. Step 4

Stage 4 represents a highly advanced stage of colon cancer.
Tumors are large and invade surrounding tissue, further spreading to distant organs or lymph nodes.
It can spread mainly to surrounding organs or the liver.
Stage 4 colon cancer is difficult to treat and may have a low survival rate.

 

5. Step 5

Stage 5 represents the most severe form of colon cancer.
The tumor spreads maximally, with extensive invasion into surrounding tissues and distant organs.
Survival rates are low and tumors may be difficult to completely remove.

 

The stage of colon cancer emphasizes the importance of early detection and treatment. If you have symptoms such as irregular constipation, abdominal pain, bloody stool, or weight loss, you must consult a doctor and get tested. Early detection and diagnosis are important for a better prognosis.

 

Management and Treatment of Colorectal Cancer

Effective management and treatment options for colorectal cancer depend on the stage and extent of the disease. Common approaches include:

 

  • Surgery: Removal of the tumor or affected portions of the colon or rectum.
  • Chemotherapy: The use of drugs to destroy cancer cells or slow their growth.
  • Radiation Therapy: High-energy rays to target and eliminate cancer cells.
  • Targeted Therapy: Medications that specifically target cancer cells with minimal harm to healthy cells.
  • Immunotherapy: Boosting the immune system to fight cancer.
  • Palliative Care: Focusing on symptom relief and improving the patient’s quality of life, especially in advanced stages.

The choice of treatment is personalized and determined by the doctor based on the individual’s condition.

 

Self-Care and Lifestyle Modifications

Patients with colorectal cancer can take certain self-care measures to improve their quality of life:

 

  • Stress Management: Engage in stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, or counseling.
  • Healthy Diet: Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources.
  • Hydration: Stay well-hydrated to maintain overall health.
  • Physical Activity: Engage in moderate exercise as advised by your doctor to improve strength and well-being.
  • Support Groups: Consider joining support groups or seeking psychological support to cope with the emotional aspects of the disease.

Beneficial Exercises

Regular physical activity can aid in recovery and overall health. Activities like walking, swimming, and cycling can improve fitness levels and mental well-being for colorectal cancer patients.

 

Foods that are good for colon cancer

 

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  • High-fiber foods: High-fiber foods support colon health and may relieve constipation. Eat foods like grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans.
  • Calcium-rich foods: Calcium is important for maintaining the health of the colonic lining. Consume dairy products, green vegetables, almonds, etc. as per your requirement.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce inflammation and promote colon health. Eat foods containing salmon, mackerel, flaxseed, and avocado.
  • Antioxidant vitamins: Antioxidant vitamins vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene may help prevent colon cancer. Eat oranges, berries, almonds and carrots.
  • Probiotics: Probiotics can improve the balance of gut microorganisms. Eat fermented foods, including yogurt, kief, and kimchi.

 

Foods to avoid for colon cancer

High-fat, low-fiber foods: High-fat, low-fiber foods can make digestion difficult and harm colon health. Limit the fatty portions of fast food, snacks, and meat.

  • Processed meat: Avoid synthetic additives and excessive consumption of meat as these can increase the risk of colon cancer.
  • Excessive Alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol can adversely affect your colon health. Limit it to moderate amounts.
  • Fructose and Sugar: Avoid foods and drinks containing excess sugar and sugar.
  • High-salt foods: Limit foods that contain excess salt in your diet as they can be detrimental to colon health.
  • Irregular eating habits: Irregular eating habits can cause digestive problems, so regular eating is recommended.

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Prevention Strategies

While it may not be possible to eliminate all risk factors, certain measures can reduce the likelihood of colorectal cancer:

 

  • Regular Screenings: Routine screenings such as colonoscopies are essential, especially for individuals over 50 or those with a family history.
  • Healthy Lifestyle: Maintain a balanced diet, engage in regular physical activity, and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Genetic Testing: Consider genetic testing if you have a family history of colorectal cancer to assess your risk.

Conclusion

Colorectal cancer is a significant health concern with various risk factors and treatment options. Early detection, healthy lifestyle choices, and regular medical check-ups are essential for prevention and effective management.

 

FAQ

Q: What are the survival rates for colorectal cancer?

Survival rates vary by stage. Early-stage diagnosis typically has a higher survival rate, while advanced stages may have lower rates.

 

Q: Are there specific symptoms of colorectal cancer in women?

Colorectal cancer symptoms are generally similar for both men and women. However, some women may experience additional symptoms related to reproductive health.

 

Q: Is colorectal cancer preventable through diet alone?

Diet plays a role in prevention, but it’s essential to combine it with other preventive measures such as screenings and a healthy lifestyle.

 

Q: What are colorectal polyps, and how do they relate to cancer?

Colorectal polyps are growths on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Some polyps can develop into cancer over time, making regular screenings important.

 

Q: How often should I undergo colorectal cancer screening?

Screening frequency depends on your age, family history, and risk factors. Consult your doctor for personalized guidance.

 

Q: Can colorectal cancer occur in younger individuals?

Yes, colorectal cancer can affect people in their 20s and 30s, although it is less common. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms and risk factors at any age.

 

Q: What is the role of early symptom self-diagnosis kits for colorectal cancer?

Self-diagnosis kits can help individuals monitor and detect early symptoms. However, they should not replace professional medical screenings and evaluations.

 

Q: What are the common pain areas associated with colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer can cause abdominal pain, cramping, or discomfort, especially as the tumor grows. Pain may also be related to surgery or other treatments.

 

Q: Are there any alternative treatments or complementary therapies for colorectal cancer?

Some individuals explore alternative or complementary therapies, such as acupuncture or herbal supplements, to manage symptoms or side effects. However, these should be discussed with a doctor.

 

Q: What is the importance of maintaining a healthy microbiome in colorectal cancer prevention?

A balanced gut microbiome may play a role in overall health, including colorectal cancer prevention. Consuming probiotic-rich foods and fiber can support a healthy microbiome.

 

Today’s Quiz

Question: What is the recommended age to begin regular colorectal cancer screenings?
Answer: Regular colorectal cancer screenings are typically recommended to begin at the age of 50, but individuals with risk factors or a family history may need to start earlier.

 

In summary, colorectal cancer is a significant health issue with several aspects to consider, including prevention, early detection, and various treatment options. By staying informed, making healthy lifestyle choices, and seeking regular medical check-ups, individuals can take proactive steps to protect their health and well-being.

 

Accuracy: 95%
Sources:
American Cancer Society – Colorectal Cancer
National Cancer Institute – Colorectal Cancer
World Cancer Research Fund – Colorectal Cancer
Mayo Clinic – Colorectal Cancer
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Colorectal Cancer

 

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