Nikita was standing at the bus stop when she heard a little girl, “Mumma! Mumma!, Why is that aunty wearing a ribbon on her hand?” Nikita Smiled.
The little girl’s mother replied “How would I know?”, rather smugly.
Nikita touched the navy blue ribbon on her arm and took a deep breath. She went to the mother and told her, “you should know, it is for the awareness of colon cancer during the month of march”she smiled, “that’s the whole point of wearing these”
She turned to go. While walking she turned around a little, “I didn’t know” and “that’s why I couldn’t save my daughter”
Cancer kills, we all know that. But there is not one type of cancer. There are hundreds of cancers and are classified on the basis of the organ in which the cancer initially started.
Awareness of cancers can help reduce the number of deaths that happen due to these deadly diseases. Awareness could help people understand and identify the early symptoms in time to get proper treatment.
To help bring awareness to the common folk, every month a colour is dedicated to a particular cancer. It helps in reminding people of the risks and making a statement.
Colorectal or Colon cancer is one type of cancer that shows up in Colon cancer or lower parts of the large intestine.
What is colon cancer?
“Cancers of the colon and rectum (colorectal cancer) start when the process of the normal replacement of colon lining cells goes awry. Mistakes in cell division occur frequently. For reasons that are poorly understood, sometimes mistakes occur that escape our editing systems. When this occurs, these cells begin to divide independently of the normal checks and balances that control growth. As these abnormal cells grow and divide, they can lead to growths within the colon called polyps. Polyps vary in type, but many are precancerous tumors that grow slowly over the course of years and do not spread. As polyps grow, additional genetic mutations further destabilize the cells. When these precancerous tumors change direction (growing into the wall of the tube rather than into the space in the middle of it) and invade other layers of the large intestine (such as the submucosa or muscular layer), the precancerous polyp has become cancerous. In most cases this process is slow, taking at least eight to 10 years to develop from those early aberrant cells to a frank cancer. Colorectal cancer is typically an adenocarcinoma, a term that refers to a cancer that has formed in certain types of lining tissues in the body.”
It is among the most common cause of cancer and that’s why it is very important that we take a good look at the causes and symptoms of Colon Cancer to keep ourselves and others around us safe. Let’s begin, shall we?
What are the causes of colon cancer?
There could be varied reasons that could increase the risks of developing colon cancer. Here’s a few to get you started:
Increasing age: Getting older could be a risk factor for developing colon cancer as the immunity of the large intestines decreases relative to what it was when younger.
Genetic: Passing down of genetic mutations from parents has also been known to have a greater risk factor for developing colon cancer.
Colon Polyps: Polyps are unnatural growths of cells inside the colon. It could also lead to colon cancer. These colon polyps are very similar to the early growth of cancers and that’s why need to be regularly screened for cancer.
Diet: Foods that have high percentages of fat in them can increase the risks of colon cancer in people, as found by researchers who studied the diet patterns of countries that have higher percentages of people suffering from colon cancer.
Ulcerative Colitis: Long standing ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the large intestine) can also increase the risks of colon cancer. So it’s better to treat it at the earliest.
What are the symptoms?
The person suffering from colon cancer may experience a few or all the symptoms that are mentioned below. However, it should be noted that some symptoms, like blood in stool, are similar to other medical conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.
So, it’s always better to consult the best oncologist rather than deciding from the symptoms you experience that it is cancer that you are suffering from.
Fatigue or Weakness: A feeling of exhaustion for longer periods of time with shortness of breaths.
Change in bowel habits: Since, this cancer develops in the large intestine, it is only natural that it will affect your bowel habits. So keep it in check.
Narrow stools: When your stool is long and thin, and frequently, you might want to see the best oncologist you know.
Diarrhea or Constipation: Colon Cancer can cause colon to behave unnaturally meaning that it can cause diarrhea as well as constipation. However, it can also be temporary and harmless, so nothing to worry until the oncologists says so.
Red or Dark blood in stool: Dark blood in stool is a sign that you need to see a doctor, however, its just to be on the safe side.
Weight loss: As with many cancers, weight loss is also a symptom. When your weight reduces unnaturally then you might want to check with your doctor.
Abdominal pain: Abdominal pain or cramps are also a symptom of colon cancer. So is the bloating of the tummy.
If you see these symptoms in you or someone you love, consult the best oncologist in India here :