How can Colon Cancer be detected?

One of the most common cancers, colon cancer or colorectal cancer can be plainly described as the cancer of colon or the large intestine (the ending part of digestive tract of a human body). This type of cancer usually instigates as polyps or non-cancerous clumps of cells, which show no real indications but can be spotted by screening and then can be removed to successfully prevent colon cancer. Like other types of cancers, colon cancer treatment is also done after diagnosing the size, extent and location of cancer spread. For a brief guide on colon cancer, its symptoms, risk factors and stages, read on!

Risk Factors for Colon Cancer

The exact cause of colon cancer is still not clear but following are some of the biggest risk factors, responsible for making people prone to colon cancer:

  • It is factually evident that more than 90 percent of people are diagnosed with colon cancer after the age of 50.
  • Having a family history of polyps or colon cancer.
  • Patients who have has a personal history of colon cancer in the past, are more prone to develop the disease again.
  • Genetic mutation from a family history of HNPCC or FAP
  • Ailments like Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative colitis that cause colon inflammation can put a person at an increased risk of developing colon cancer.
  • Diet low in calcium, folate & fiber and high in fat and red meat can also increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

Screening tests & stages of Colon Cancer

It is very well known that in case of a critical disease like colon cancer, early diagnosis and recognition allows for more treatment choices and is thus, very important for its successful elimination. Therefore, everyone must be amply aware of the different stages of colon cancer and should also appear for CT colonography every 5 years or colonoscopy every 10 years, especially after touching the age of 50 years. Double-contrast barium enema or Flexible sigmoidoscopy can also be done as screening tests for colon cancer every 5 years.

Figuring out the stage of cancer and how far it has spread is the first step doctors undertake after a patient is diagnosed with colon cancer. This process of colon cancer staging ranges from the stage I - the beginning of cancer, to stage IV - the most advanced cancer. Following are the different stages of colon cancer:

  • Stage I: In this stage, cancer involves the inmost layers of the rectum or colon only and the likelihood of its complete treatment is over ninety percent.
  • Stage II: This stage features greater growth and spread of cancer through the colon’s wall or to close structure and organs.
  • Stage III: In this stage, cancer has generally spread through the mucosa to the submucosa and local lymph nodes.
  • Stage IV: This stage marks the spread of cancer through the blood and lymph nodes to the body’s other parts like the liver, lung, abdominal wall or ovary.

Symptoms of Colon Cancer

The major symptoms of Colon Cancer are as follows:

  • Blood in the stool, usually black or dark red in colour
  • Although constipation and diarrhoea are general symptoms of many less serious situations like a stomach virus, they can even be a symptom of colon cancer in case they do not stop quickly.
  • Long, thin stools can also be a sign of colon blockage, which could even be a tumor.
  • More than usual fatigue and weakness could be a sign of a bleeding tumour and lack of iron in the body.
  • Colon tumours often cause a blockage, due to which, fully emptying your bowels becomes difficult and the patient can experience abdominal pain and bloating.
  • Unexplained weight loss of ten or more pounds, especially when accompanied with some other symptoms of colon cancer.
  • When tumour causes obstruction, the patient often experiences nausea and vomiting.
  • When cancer spreads to other body parts of the patient, there can be other symptoms pertaining to those specific parts of his or her body.

Choosing Medmonks as your Healthcare Partner

The Medmonks family is determined to provide affordable, reliable and accessible medical services in the exotic and stress-free environment of Incredible India. Cancer diagnosis can be ardently challenging for the patient and his or her family and thus, Medmonks is a beautiful endeavour to make their medical journey as qualitative and easy as possible. Medmonks’ skilled and experienced patient welfare team ensures that all their patients travelling to India for colon cancer treatment are provided professional care right from the moment they land in the country to their treatment and final return. Besides helping the patients in identifying the precise treatment according to their individual medical profiles, Medmonks also chooses the best doctors and hospitals for giving them a memorable medical experience. Each year, hundreds of patients struggling with the life-threatening disease of colon cancer come to seek the most advantageous cancer care services in India from across the globe.