Colorectal cancer, better known as colon cancer, is the second leading cause of death from cancer and the third most common cancer in men and women in the United States. March is also the month of information about this cancer. Therefore, in this article, we will discuss this cancer.
How Colorectal Cancer occurs:
Food enters the large intestine or colon after passing through the stomach and small intestine, and after the end of all absorption stages, in the form of feces through the rectum or rectum. The body is excreted. Sometimes parts of the lining of the colon or rectum overgrow and grow into small bumps inside the intestinal tube called polyps. Some of these polyps grow on a base and look like mushrooms. Many polyps are benign and never turn into cancer, but some polyps can turn into cancer over time.
Symptoms of colorectal cancer:
Unfortunately, polyps and colorectal cancers may not show symptoms until long after they have grown. However, the most important early symptoms are pain and contractions in the gastrointestinal tract, blood in the stool, and weight loss for no apparent reason. Other symptoms, such as constipation, nausea, and vomiting, although not specific to colon cancer, may be associated with early symptoms.
Factors that increase the risk of Colorectal Cancer:
The most important risk factor for colon cancer is aging. More than 90% of colorectal cancers occur in people over 50 years of age. Other factors that increase the risk include developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and having a close family history of colon cancer. Lifestyle may be effective in preventing or preventing this disease. Lack of regular daily activity, lack of fruits and vegetables in the diet, high-fat diet, obesity and severe overweight, alcoholism and smoking are factors that increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
Colorectal Cancer Prevention:
Almost all colorectal cancers start with a precancerous polyp in the colon or rectum. These polyps may be asymptomatic for years before they become cancerous and go undiagnosed. On the other hand, as mentioned, the risk of infection increases significantly with age. For this reason, the most important way to prevent this cancer is to perform tests to identify these primary polyps and remove them if necessary. These tests are known as screening methods. Screening methods can also detect colorectal cancer in its early stages. Treatment of this cancer is possible in the early stages and the patient recovers. Other prevention factors include lifestyle changes and diet. Eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and dietary fiber, losing weight, exercising and exercising regularly and avoiding alcohol and smoking can be effective in preventing this disease.
The age of onset of these procedures is 50 years old. Screening Tests For people with a history of inflammatory bowel disease, a positive family history of colorectal cancer, or a history of genetic conditions such as FAP, should begin at age 50 and be repeated at regular intervals based on your doctor’s advice. Some researchers recommend these tests for people over the age of 50 and once every ten years. Because the most important part of screening tests is colonoscopy (insertion of an endoscope through the anus, observation of the condition of the rectum and colon mucosa, and removal of a tissue sample if necessary), the main challenge for performing these tests is the cost and acceptance. It is up to individuals, although many insurers pay for a colonoscopy for people over the age of 50.
Diagnosis of Colorectal Cancer:
If there is a suspicion of polyps or colon cancer based on the patient’s symptoms and the result of a stool test, additional tests are used to make a diagnosis. Imaging techniques such as plain or contrast-enhanced radiographs, ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRIs may be performed at the physician’s discretion. The final diagnosis should be made by colonoscopy or recto sigmoidoscopy and biopsy of the intestinal mucosa and sending it to a histological laboratory.
Treatment of Colorectal Cancer:
Primary polyps that have not yet become cancerous can be removed endoscopically. If the appearance of polyps is not benign and there is a possibility of cancer, the doctor may first take a sample of the polyp and send it to a pathologist.
The result of the histological examination can determine the treatment plan (removal of the polyp by endoscopy or open surgery). In cases where the cancer has metastasized to nearby tissues or distant organs, other methods may be used, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Early diagnosis is the most important factor in the treatment of colorectal cancer and this indicates the importance of screening tests.