Symptoms of colon cancer, if identified at an early stage, can help in treating the condition completely. In this article, you will find causes, symptoms and treatment methods for colon or colorectal cancer in men.
Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is the cancer of the large intestine or the colon. Similar to cancer of any other organ of the body, the colon cancer develops when there is uncontrolled growth of cancerous or malignant cells. The body’s defense mechanism proves ineffective against this malignant growth, resulting in development and spread of cancer. Let us take a look at the causes, symptoms and treatment of colon or colorectal cancer in detail.
Causes of Colon Cancer
The exact cause of colon cancer is unknown. However, there are numerous factors that can increase a man’s risk of suffering from this disease. Old age is one of the most prominent risk factor of colon cancer. This condition is usually found in men above 50 years of age. However, these days colon cancer is also found in men under 40 years of age. This is because family history is another risk factor. Men, whose parents or sibling had colon cancer, are also at a greater risk of developing it. Similarly, smoking, alcoholism, obesity, improper diet, undergoing radiation therapy, etc. also increase chances of developing colon or colorectal cancer.
Signs and Symptoms
If looking for early symptoms, then note that there are no prominent early signs observed. The symptoms usually appear when the cancer has reached an advanced stage. However, one will surely notice the general symptoms of cancer like weakness, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, abdominal discomfort, fever, anemia, etc. These symptoms are called general cancer symptoms as they are observed in all types of cancer.
- Blood in stools
- Thin stools
- Abdominal discomfort
- Frequent upset stomach
- Bowel changes
- Rectal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Bowel obstruction
- Gas pains
Blood in stools is one of the major colon cancer symptoms in men. However, it is not identified easily as most people mistake it for bleeding hemorrhoids. Secondly, changes in bowel and abdominal discomfort are also most common symptoms and should not ignore. A person suffering from this cancer may frequently feel as if he needs to pass stools. He will also feel as if his bowel has not been emptied completely. If any of these symptoms are observed, the doctor should be consulted immediately. One should note that tests like the Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) helps in diagnosis of colon cancer.
Similar to other types, colon cancer is treated using the traditional methods of cancer treatment like radiation, surgery and chemotherapy. If the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the tumor can be removed with the help of colonoscopy or surgery. Secondly, chemotherapy is used to destroy the cancerous cells that may develop after surgery. Similarly, radiation therapy is also used to get rid of the cancer cells that remain or develop after surgery. Either of these or a combination of these therapies is used for the treatment of colon cancer in men. The survival rate depends on the stage of cancer. For e.g., the survival rate is more than 90% if the cancer is detected at the first stage; whereas it is less than 10% if the cancer is detected in the 4th or last stage.
Knowing about the symptoms helps in timely diagnosis of the disease. Therefore, if one identifies any of these symptoms, he should consult the doctor immediately and undergo treatment. Lastly, as mentioned in the survival rate ratio, survival after colon cancer treatment is possible, provided it is diagnosed at the earliest stage. Take care!