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10 Factors That put You at Risk for Colorectal Cancer

The human digestive tract consists of several parts, where the largest part is the large intestine (colon). A large intestine is a place of absorption of the last nutrients and a place of formation of residual substances before being transferred to the rectum then discharged through the anus. Colorectal cancer is one of the most serious diseases that can occur in the large intestine and rectum.

Colorectal cancer is a term for cancer growth that begins with the growth of abnormal cells (tumors) that spread and damage surrounding cells in the mucous lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. Colorectal cancer can be either colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where cancer first appeared. Both have many similarities such as the growth process and forms of cancer.

Signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer

At the beginning of the tumor and during the phase of change into cancer cells, symptoms are usually not found in patients. Symptoms of colorectal cancer will appear after cancer spreads and cause damage to the body. Some symptoms that may be experienced by sufferers are:

  • Changes in digestive system activity accompanied by diarrhea, constipation, or the number of feces that are excreted are too small and last several days.
  • The stomach feels still sick after defecating.
  • Blood from the anus, dark stool, or blood found in the stool.
  • Often experience pain or stomach cramps.
  • Sudden weight loss.
  • Anemic due to a decrease in the number of blood cells.

These symptoms often arise because of other factors triggered by sufferers of colorectal cancer. But if you experience these symptoms, immediately consult a doctor for further examination.

The emergence and spread of colorectal cancer

Most colorectal cancers begin with the growth of small bumps (polyps) on the inside of the large intestine or rectum. Most polyps do not develop into cancer, only certain types that can become cancerous, namely adenomatous polyps, hyperplastic poly, p, and inflammatory polyps. As many as 95% of colorectal cancer cells originate from adenomatous polyps and develop adenocarcinomas.

Cancer cells in the colon and rectum grow in the innermost layers of the organ (mucosa) and continue to grow affecting all layers. If the cancer cells have reached the blood vessels of the organs, the cancer cells can easily spread (metastasize) and damage the body's defenses around by attacking the lymph nodes or to more distant organs.

The development of colorectal cancer can be assessed based on the growth of tumors in the lining of the large intestine or rectum of the patient, the spread of cancer cells to lymph nodes around the cancer cells, and how far they spread of cancer cells in the body's organs. Usually, colorectal cancer cells can spread to the liver and lungs.

Read Also : Understanding Cancer Cells and Their Stages and Levels

Risk factors that cause colorectal cancer

The main cause of colorectal cancer is not yet known with certainty, but several things can increase a person's risk of experiencing colorectal cancer cell growth both of which can be changed or cannot be changed.

Factors that can be changed

There are several causes of colorectal cancer that are influenced by lifestyle, including:

  • Being overweight - obesity can increase the risk of cancer cell growth and increase the risk of death from cancer. The risk of getting cancer due to obesity is greater in men than women.
  • Less physical activity - people who lack physical activity will be more susceptible to cancer, including colorectal cancer.
  • Diet - known patterns of high consumption of red meat and processed meat can increase the risk of colorectal cancer. Also, cooking meat with high temperatures causes an increase in chemical compounds that triggers cancer in the intestine. While a healthy diet by consuming vegetables, fruit, and whole grains is known to reduce the risk of cancer.
  • Smoking - smoking behavior is already known as a risk factor for various cancers including colorectal cancer. The longer you smoke, the greater your risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Alcoholic drinks - consumption of all kinds of alcoholic drinks will increase the risk of colorectal cancer. Restrictions on the reduction in consumption of alcoholic beverages will reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

A cause that cannot be changed

Several risk factors cannot be corrected to reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer, namely:

  • Old age - over 50 years will increase the risk of getting cancer. Cancer takes time to develop from abnormal cells, so individuals will be diagnosed with cancer in old age.
  • A history of suffering from colorectal polyps or cancer - someone who has been declared cured of colorectal cancer or polyps can experience the growth of new cancer cells in the intestine. This risk will be greater if someone has had colorectal cancer at a young age.
  • Have experienced inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) - this is an inflammatory condition in the large intestine that lasts a long time. The intestinal wall of people with IBD experiences abnormal cell appearance that can be seen with a microscope (dysplasia). If you have been diagnosed with IBD, do colorectal cancer screening routinely. IBD is different from inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) which does not increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Family history of colorectal cancer and familial adenomatous polyps - the risk of developing colorectal cancer is higher if there is one parent, blood relative, or child who has colorectal cancer. The risk a person has will be higher if one family member has experienced colorectal cancer under the age of 45 years. Cancer conditions can be inherited in one family due to genetic factors or influenced by environmental factors or interactions between the two. Although most sufferers do not have a family history of this disease, having a family history increases the risk by 20% of colorectal cancer. Similar to the family history of ever developing polyps that have the potential to be cancerous, adenomatous polyps. If there are family members who experience it, do colorectal cancer detection routinely.
  • Having type 2 diabetes - someone who has type 2 diabetes has a higher risk of colorectal cancer. Both diabetes and colorectal cancer have many common risk factors such as obesity. Although there are no other risk factors, someone with diabetes has a higher risk of colorectal cancer.

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Health and clinical interests include all aspects of infectious diseases

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