Colon cancer refers to the growth of cancerous cells in the colon (large intestine). It is a malignant tumor which arises from the inner walls of the intestine. This article discusses some basic aspects of this cancer when it is in stage 2.
The lower part of the digestive system is known as the colon or the large intestine. Factors such as high fat intake, family history of colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases, etc. may lead to colon cancer. In some cases, the condition intensifies when the cancer grows in the rectum; this condition is known as rectal cancer. These two conditions are together known as colorectal cancer.
Symptoms of Stage 2 Colon Cancer
Most types of cancers have the reputation of being asymptomatic (no signs or symptoms) in their early stages. This is the reason why regular screening tests are a must. Stage 2 may be regarded as a mid stage of this cancer. In a few cases, this stage might show some symptoms, as compared to stage 0 or 1, which can be regarded as completely asymptomatic.
However, the symptoms in women or men that occur in the later stages begin with abnormal changes in the bowel habit of the affected person. This may be manifested in the form of diarrhea, constipation, and certain changes in the consistency of the feces. Presence of bright red or dark blood in urine is one of the symptoms of this stage. There may be a constant discomfort in the abdominal region, unexplained weight loss, constant tiredness, vomiting, gas pains, and bloating.
In the body, healthy cells grow and divide in an orderly fashion with a normal pace. This helps the body function in different ways. However, sometimes, these cells may start dividing without any reason or need. This division occurs in a rapid fashion. This is what happens even in case of colon cancer.
The abnormal growth of the cells give rise to the formation of precancerous cells, that latch on to the lining of the intestine. With time and no proper treatment, some of these cells may become cancerous. What triggers such a growth, or what causes colon cancer, has not being determined yet.
Early diagnosis helps in increasing the chances of successful treatment. According to experts, stage 0 is the most treatable form of colon cancer. Here, the cancer is still at the affected site and has not come out of the mucosa (the colon’s inner layer).
In stage 1, the cancer has left the mucosa, but is yet to reach the colon wall. When this progresses to the stage 2, it means that it has managed to grow into, or through the colon wall.
In the stage 3, the nearby lymph nodes are affected by the cancer, and finally in stage 4, the disease starts spreading to other organs of the body; common examples are liver and lungs.
In some cases, the cancer may strike back even after the treatment. This stage is known as recurrent stage.
A colectomy (surgical removal of the colon or part of the colon) is performed for stage 2. So, along with removing the cancer-affected part of the colon, some neighboring tissues may also be removed. Prognosis of the cancer during this stage is quite bright, as the cancer has still not spread to other parts of the body.
Survival rate of people who are in the second stage for a five year period, is 60%. In case of stage 1, it is 90%.
As aforementioned, the condition does not show any symptoms in its early stages. It spreads slowly and takes over the body in small parts. Although the survival rate of a stage 2 colon cancer is not as high as that of the stage 1, it is still better than the later stages. This is why it is important to undergo regular screening tests and diagnose the disease as soon as possible.