Yes! When the “C” word falls on your ears you are startled! Poor lifestyle habits have made this disease from uncommon to common today. During your childhood little did you know that this disease would be one of the leading causes of mortality! So let us take a peek into Colon Cancer.
Colon, which is also referred to as our large intestine in simple words is one of the most important part of our body. A colon cancer occurs when abnormal cells form tumours in the normal tissues of the intestines and digestive system. Diagnosing cancer is very important as most of the times the patient is unaware he suffers from this disease until it is in the advanced stages. In short, most cancers do not show any symptoms in the initial stages.
“For colon cancer also initially patients may not present with any symptoms. Hence screening is very important when you show any abnormal signs of defecation. I advise all my patients who are 50 and above to screen routinely for colon cancer who have either had a family history or have suffered themselves from any rectal ailments.”, mentions Dr Parameshwara, Colorectal Surgeon and Founder of Smiles International Institute of ColoProctology, Bengaluru. He has treated more than 3 lac patients medically for anorectal issues.
Colon cancer can present with the following symptoms:
- Per rectal bleeding
- Blood in stools – stools are either bright red or black
- Unreasonable weight loss
- Constant fluctuations in motions like diarrhoea and constipation alternately
- Fatigue and weakness
It is very common that colon cancer can show no symptoms at all until you reach the final stage. Hence it is advised not to ignore screening for colon cancer. Many patients notice polyps in the colon and once removed they come to know it was cancerous. Dr Parameshwara always informs all his patients not to ignore per rectal bleeding and to examine themselves immediately without further delay.
For colon cancer there are risk factors of age, genetics or family history, personal history of polyps or cancer or Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Smiles Hospital advises patients who have a family history to screen themselves early for colon cancer. Screening can start from a simple stool test or blood test to a simple colonoscopy followed by a biopsy.
Dr Parameshwara also mentions,” Most of the times other conditions like Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s disease, colon infection or other GI issues can present with the same symptoms and cannot always be termed as Colon Cancer. So readers may please make note that not always per rectal bleeding is Colon Cancer and not always Colon Cancer presents with per rectal bleeding. Get yourself screened right away!”