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5 Colon cancer symptoms You must know

Colon cancer or colon cancer is a type of cancer that attacks the colon or the last part of the human digestive system. Although this disease can occur at any age, 90 percent of the sufferers are elderly people over 60 years old.

Most cases of colon cancer begin with the formation of small cell clumps called polyp adenomas. These clumps then spread uncontrollably over time. This type of cancer is ranked third as the most common disease, both in men and women.

Colon cancer occurs when the colon cells develop uncontrollably, and cause a progressive enlarged lump. This disease provides symptoms of bloody bowel movements, abdominal pain or bloating, gastrointestinal disturbances, weight loss is reduced for no reason and body weakness.

Cancer occurs when there is a genetic mutation, in which DNA cells in certain body areas grow uncontrollably and are destructive. In colon cancer, abnormal growth of these cells begins in the lining of the intestines, then spread and destroy other cells nearby, or even to other areas of the body.

The genetic mutation in colon cancer is thought to be hereditary. That is, someone who has a family member with colon cancer will be more at risk to suffer from this disease. There are two types of colon cancer that are hereditary, that is:

  • Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). This disorder is also known as Lynch syndrome. A person with Lynch syndrome will be at high risk for colon cancer before the age of 50 years.
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). FAP is a rare disease that causes the appearance of thousands of small bumps (polyps) on the walls of the colon and rectum. A person with FAP is at risk multiple times for colon cancer before the age of 40 years.


Although the cause is unknown, some of the following factors can increase a person's risk of developing colon cancer:

  • Too much eating red meat
  • Lack of fiber.
  • Consume alcoholic beverages.
  • Being overweight or obese.
  • Aged above 50 years.
  • Suffer from digestive disorders, one of which is ulcerative colitis or chronic inflammation in the colon.
  • Have diabetes.
  • Less exercise.
  • Have a parent or sibling suffering from colon cancer.
  • Suffer from familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), a genetic disorder that causes the growth of clumps of cells or polyps in the colon.

Recognize colon cancer symptoms

Reporting from the American Cancer Society says that specific symptoms of colon cancer can be known since the patient was in his 20s. Symptoms include:

1. Anemia

Colon cancer depletes the supply of red blood cells of the patient. According to gastrointestinal experts from Mayo Clinic, John Kisiel, tumors grow rapidly even beyond your blood supply. Often, it also creates boils that periodically infuse blood.

"This is why you will often see blood on a chair. Anemia will also cause the body weakness and fatigue, "he said.

2. Weight loss unnoticed

Weight loss unnoticed

According to Kisiel, tumors can cause you to lose your appetite to alter your metabolism. This situation then makes your body lack of a number of nutrients, so that weight loss often occurs without realizing it.

3. Rectal bleeding

Bleeding that occurs causes darker stools. This is because the blood has been processed by the digestive tract, thus affecting the color of stools issued by colon cancer patients.

"Rectal bleeding is seen in the stool or drips directly," Kisiel said.

However, if you experience rectal bleeding, it does not mean you are positive about colon cancer. Therefore, diseases such as hemorrhoids or anal fissures can also cause the condition. The best way to make sure is to see a doctor.

4. Stomach ache

If you often feel stomach pain when you want to defecate, coupled with the increase in the intensity of wind, it can be a sign of colon cancer.

If you notice one or more of the colon cancer symptoms as mentioned, see your doctor immediately.

If the cancer is still in its early stages and has not spread, surgery can be performed. That way, the cancer cells found can be removed perfectly.

5. Difficult to defecate

Difficult to defecate

Kisiel said that the tumor that formed can clog the gastrointestinal tract, so the patient will have difficulty to defecate. As a result of this condition, the stools should come out with difficulty, with a more flat shape.

"You may also have diarrhea. Talk to your doctor if it happens more than a month, "he said.

If the cancer has spread, the patient should receive treatment in the form of chemotherapy, as well as surgical removal of the intestines.

Stages of Development of Colon Cancer

There are four stages that determine the severity of colon cancer, namely:

  • Stage 1. At this stage the cancer has begun to grow in the colon, but has not spread because it is still blocked intestinal wall.
  • Stage 2. At this stage the cancer has spread throughout the walls of the large intestine, even penetrating it.
  • Stage 3. At this stage the lymph nodes adjacent to the large intestine have been gnawed by cancer.
  • Stage 4. This is the most severe level of colon cancer spread. At this stage the cancer has further spread and attack other body organs, such as the lungs and liver.

Determination of the severity of colon cancer can be done through a diagnosis. This is useful in helping doctors to provide the right treatment.

Diagnosis of Colon Cancer

To find out if a patient has colon cancer, the doctor will first ask for symptoms that are felt. In addition, the doctor will also ask if the patient is suffering from a certain condition that may increase the risk of colon cancer or whether the patient has a close relative of colon cancer.

After the explanation is obtained, the doctor will likely check the patient's anus condition to see any swelling. A device called sigmoidoscopy can be used by a doctor if necessary. Sigmoidoscopy is a small hose-shaped device equipped with lights and a camera at the end to be inserted into the large intestine through the anus. Through the monitor, doctors can see if there are any signs of colon cancer.

In addition to sigmoidoscopy, there are several kinds of tests that can be done to determine the presence of colon cancer, especially if sigmoidoskopi just perceived doctors is not enough. Some of these checks are:

  • The concept of examination is actually the same as sigmoidoscopy. It's just the colonoscopy, a tool that is used longer so as to reach deeper into the colon. The camera mounted at the end of the colonoscopy is able to give an image of the abnormal parts of the colon due to cancer. Even if necessary, a biopsy or sampling can be performed with a special tool included in the colonoscopy. The sample is then investigated in the laboratory to detect the presence of cancer. Before doing a colonoscopy, the patient will be given a laxative by the doctor so that the stomach is clean of the dirt, so the results obtained from the observation process will be much better.
  • Virtual colonoscopy. This examination is also called CT colonography. Usually this examination is performed if the patient can not undergo regular colonoscopy for certain medical reasons. Inside a virtual colonoscopy, a special tube is inserted into the anus. The gas will then be pumped through the tube, so that the patient's bowel will slightly expand. After that, the doctor will be able to observe the intestinal state from all angles with the help of CT scan.


Knowing that colon cancer is a dangerous disease that can take your life, you are advised to take precautions now. Way, apply a healthy diet and high fiber, exercise regularly, stay away from cigarettes and alcohol. If you have symptoms that refer to colon cancer, do not hesitate to seek medical attention immediately. The earlier detected and treated, the more likely it is to heal.



Mayo Clinic (2017). Diseases & Conditions. Colon cancer. Hicks, R. WebMD Boots (2017). Bowel cancer guide. Bowel cancer symptoms.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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