When a woman is diagnosed with bowel cancer, it means that cancerous tumors have been detected in the colon. As we all know, the term 'colon' refers to the large intestine (located below the stomach) where most of the digestion occurs. So, what causes colon cancer. Colon or bowel cancer in women is often the result of too much consumption of red and processed meat. A diet lacking in vegetables and fruits can also put women in the risk zone of bowel cancer. Intestinal disorders such as Crohn's disease lasting for long periods of time can also cause bowel cancer symptoms to appear in women. The symptoms and treatment of bowel cancer will vary from person to person depending upon the severity of the condition.
Irregular Bowel Movement
Inconsistencies in bowel pattern is likely to occur in women affected with bowel cancer. Patients may complain about watery stools during bowel evacuation, which is an indication of diarrhea. However, as the cancerous lumps enlarge, it may lead to partial obstruction of the bowel, ultimately causing constipation. A woman who is constipated, typically experiences a painful bowel movement. In fact, women with chronic constipation are at a great risk of bowel cancer and must go for a medical checkup from time to time.
This is an indication of rectal bleeding and could point towards bowel cancer. The final 6 inches of the intestine are referred as rectum and many times patients show the presence of cancerous tumors in the rectum only. During bowel movement, the stools might put pressure on the cancerous tumor, while passing through the colon. As a result, the tumors may bleed and so the bowel movement will give rise to partial bloody stools. However, keep in mind that blood in stool can also mean the presence of other intestinal disorders such as hemorrhoids or diverticulitis. So, only on the basis of detection of blood in the stool, one cannot say that the person is suffering from bowel cancer. The appearance of the stool also changes. The stools appear extremely thin and many times stool color changes to black due to presence of blood in them.
Mild to moderate abdominal pain that simply does not go away, is also one of the colon cancer symptoms in women. During bowel evacuation, abdominal pain might become severe. Experiencing abdominal discomfort consistently, followed by excretion of bloody stools is something that requires an urgent appointment with a doctor.
Overall weakness and inability to tolerate even moderate physical activity are some of the common issues associated with woman's colon cancer. Experiencing frequent bouts of fatigue, for no reason, has been a common complaint among colon cancer patients. Fatigue is the result of decrease in red blood cell count, a condition known as anemia. Apart from feeling tired, the woman develops high fever that usually lasts for more than a week.
Bowel cancer can also cause persistent nauseating feeling. As a result, the patients will no longer be interested in having meals to their heart's content. The diminished desire to eat food can aggravate fatigue. Women with bowel cancer may also vomit if the nausea becomes unbearable.
Unexplained Decrease in Weight
There have been reports that suggest that bowel cancer can have a negative impact on a woman's weight. This mainly happens because of poor appetite.
Treatment options for bowel cancer will vary depending upon how far the cancerous growth has spread in the colon. If detected early, the cancer cells are observed only in a very small area of the colon. In such cases, only that specific portion of the colon is removed using a minor surgery. However, when the cancerous growth has spread substantially and affected the inner layers of the colonic wall, surgery (colostomy) to completely remove that part of the colon is performed. The patient may also be put on chemotherapy or radiation therapy before, or after surgery for better results.