What do I need to know about colon cancer?

Asked By: Antonie Barhoun | Last Updated: 28th March, 2020
Category: medical health digestive disorders
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Signs and symptoms of colon cancer include: A persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool. Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool. Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain.

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Subsequently, one may also ask, when should I be concerned about colon cancer?

You may think you don't have to worry about colorectal cancer until you're 50. That's the age doctors recommend most patients get a colorectal cancer screening. But colorectal cancer in those under age 35 is on the rise. By 2030, colon cancer cases are expected to increase by 90%.

Additionally, what is the main cause of colon cancer? The exact cause of colorectal cancer is not known, but certain risk factors are strongly linked to the disease, including diet, tobacco smoking and heavy alcohol use. Also, people with certain hereditary cancer syndromes or a family history of colorectal cancer have a high risk of developing the disease.

Subsequently, one may also ask, can colon cancer develop in 3 years?

Approximately 6% of colorectal cancers are diagnosed within 3 to 5 years after the patient received a colonoscopy, according to findings from a recent population-based study.

Can you feel colon cancer with your finger?

If you have symptoms, your doctor will perform a digital rectal exam. In this exam, your doctor will put his or her gloved finger into your rectum to feel for growths. It's not painful. However, it can be uncomfortable.

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What does cancer poop look like?

Your poo should be smooth and soft, it said. Aim for a sausage-shaped stool, that's either smooth or has slight cracks on the surface. But, a mushy stool, or one that's entirely liquid, could be a sign of bowel cancer.

How common is colon cancer by age?

Colon Cancer in Young People
The risk of colorectal cancer increases with age; 91% of cases are diagnosed in individuals 50 years of age and older. While rates of colon cancer have been declining among adults 50 years and older, incidence of colorectal cancer is increasing among adults under age 50.

What does stool look like with colon cancer?

Small-caliber (narrow) or ribbon-like stools. Constipation. Sensation of incomplete evacuation after a bowel movement. Rectal pain: Pain rarely occurs with colon cancer and usually indicates a bulky tumor in the rectum that may invade surrounding tissue after moving through the colon's submucosa.

What are the symptoms of stage 1 colon cancer?

Symptoms
  • A persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool.
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool.
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain.
  • A feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely.
  • Weakness or fatigue.
  • Unexplained weight loss.

How do you know if your colon is clean enough for a colonoscopy?

When your bowel movements are composed of only brown liquids you are nearing the finish line. The color of your stools should progress to a cloudy liquid, and ultimately, to a yellowish clear liquid. If there is any cloudiness to your liquid stool, your bowel prep is not complete.

How long can colon cancer go undetected?

Because early stages of colon cancer can go unnoticed for years, screening is important for early detection. It is generally recommended that individuals at average risk for colon cancer receive a screening test every 10 years.

How early can colon cancer be detected?

Screening is crucial because when found early, colorectal cancer is highly treatable. Early stages of colorectal cancer usually present no symptoms, which tend to appear as the cancer progresses. The American Cancer Society recommends that colorectal cancer screening should start at age 45.

How long is chemotherapy for colon cancer?

Doctors give chemo in cycles, with each treatment followed by a rest period to give the body time to recover. Chemotherapy cycles generally last about 2 to 4 weeks. People usually get at least several cycles of treatment.

Is colon cancer a death sentence?

The myth that colorectal cancer is a death sentence is due partly to the fact that at the time of diagnosis, 20-25% patients have metastatic disease, which means the cancer has already spread to other parts of the body. But these patients may still be cured with a range of treatment options available at Roswell Park.

Is Colon Cancer aggressive or slow growing?

In general, colorectal cancers tend to be slow growing, gradually enlarging and eventually penetrating the bowel wall. When they do spread, it is usually through invasion of nearby lymph nodes. In fact, cancer cells may enter a lymph node even before the tumor penetrates through the intestinal wall.

How long can a person live with colon cancer without surgery or chemotherapy?

However, it is assumed that these patients will undergo treatment. In general, the use of chemotherapy will, on average, extend the lifespan of a patient with stage IV colon cancer by approximately two to three years beyond what would be expected if they do not receive any therapy.

How bad is colon cancer?

Colon cancer is the second most deadly form of cancer after lung cancer. But it's one of the easiest diseases to detect, and in its earliest stages, it's also one of the most curable. If you've been diagnosed with colon cancer, or if you're at risk for the disease, it's time to learn everything you can.

Does colon cancer spread quickly?

The new research focused exclusively on metastatic colon cancer. But if a tumor develops into a carcinoma with the ability to metastasize, it will progress to metastasis quickly. This transformation occurs within about two years, before another mutation can develop.

Why do I need another colonoscopy in 3 years?

People who have had certain types of polyps removed during a colonoscopy. Most of these people will need to get a colonoscopy again after 3 years, but some people might need to get one earlier (or later) than 3 years, depending on the type, size, and number of polyps.

What happens if they find cancer during a colonoscopy?

Positive result. A colonoscopy is considered positive if the doctor finds any polyps or abnormal tissue in the colon. Most polyps aren't cancerous, but some can be precancerous. Polyps removed during colonoscopy are sent to a laboratory for analysis to determine whether they are cancerous, precancerous or noncancerous.

How long is negative colonoscopy good for?

The majority of screenees have negative findings at screening colonoscopy—that is, no polyps are detected. The time interval for repeat screening colonoscopy most commonly recommended by expert panels for this group is 10 years.

At what stage does colon cancer bleed?

Most colon cancers bleed, usually slowly. The stool may be streaked or mixed with blood, but often the blood cannot be seen. The most common first symptom of rectal cancer is bleeding during a bowel movement.