Colon is one of the important parts of our digestive system. Growth of malignant tissue in colon is termed as colon cancer. Colon cancer can really harm our digestive system and colon cancer is one of the more dreaded cancers.
Causes of colon cancer
Colon related diseases and incorrect eating habits are said to increase the risk of colon cancer. High fiber diet (ie vegetables and fruits) can help in reducing the risk of colon cancer. Colon cancer is also linked to genes and there are theories that suggest that people with family history of colon cancer are at greater risk of developing colon cancer. However, colon cancer is generally found in older people ie people who are above the age of 50. Frankly speaking, the exact and specific causes of colon cancer are still not known and there is a lot of research underway to find the same.
Symptoms and diagnosis of colon cancer
Abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, blood spots in stool or any unusual bowel related activity / uneasiness can be a symptom of colon cancer. However, these are not conclusive symptoms of colon cancer since these could be just normal digestion related problems. In any case, you should get the advice of a qualified doctor and tell him all the symptoms properly in order to facilitate fast and correct diagnosis. The doctor may prescribe certain tests / examinations for proper diagnosis of colon cancer. Most colon cancer tests require empty bowel, so you need to do a bit of preparation before going for the tests. Special kind of x-ray tests and colonoscopy (that uses a fiber-optic camera or colon scope) is used to diagnose colon cancer. These tests can be a bit painful since they require insertion of instruments / substances through your anus to your colon. Biopsy is also used as a technique for detecting colon cancer.
Treatment of colon cancer
Effectiveness of the treatment of colon cancer is governed by how early it is detected / diagnosed. There are various ways of treating colon cancer and researchers are always looking for newer and better ways of treating colon cancer. However, as of now, surgical procedures are one of the prime treatments for colon cancer. The objective is to remove all the cancerous tissues and hence prevent the cancer from spreading. Other treatments of cancer include application of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.