Health Journal 2016 VOL.4    Healthy Life, Happy Family
Article List
Colon Cancer vs Regular Checkups : Early detection is the best alternative

Recently, my experience with endoscopy has been very different from what it was before. While before, the endoscopies often found many cases of stomach cancer, recently, that number has declined and has been replaced by a growing number of cases of colon cancer. In fact, about 12% of cancer patients have been reported to die from colon cancer, and it is now second, after lung cancer, in number of deaths per year.

Hemorrhoid-like Symptoms Colon cancer is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease. While its exact cause is not yet known, experts believe it has to do with age, diet, and hereditary factors. Colon cancer can occur at any age, but more than 90% of colon cancer patients are 40 years or older, with its incidence doubling per every 10 years of age. Those suffering from chronic ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease, or types of colon adenomas are at risk of developing colon cancer, especially if there is a history of colon cancer in the family.

Symptoms include stomachache, extremely thin stool (about the size of a pencil), bowel habit changes, bloody stool, and others. The severity of such symptoms may also vary depending on the size or area of the colorectal carcinoma.

When the cancer is very small, there are almost no symptoms. However, if it is located in the small intestine, there will be many symptoms such as weight loss and anemia. If there is a cancer in the rectum, it will more likely affect bowel movements.

It is important to know that all too often, the symptom of bloody stools becomes mistaken for hemorrhoids, rather than colon cancer, resulting in delayed treatment. However, whereas bleeding from hemorrhoids are likely to alleviate as time goes on, bleeding from colon cancer will grow increasingly worse as time goes on.

Even if changes in bowel habits, constipation, and diarrhea have been a problem in the past, any signs of sustained heavy symptoms should be considered to be a potential symptom of colon cancer to be safe.

Many patients who consider their irritable bowels a result of drinking or stress will often delay diagnosing and ultimately treating their colon cancer until it becomes too late for surgery.

Easy, Effective Colon Examinations The colonography and colonoscopy are used for the diagnosis of colorectal cancer. Colonography looks at how a bowel changes and responds after the injection of barium through the anus posture, whereas a colonoscopy is a way to insert an endoscopic instrument through the rectum to observe the large intestine.

The two-pronged diagnosis for colon cancer is advantageous in that if the lesion is suspected to be cancerous, a biopsy is available on the spot. A polypectomy, similar to a colonoscopy, may also be performed directly. However, colon examinations do not always include upper endoscopy, as often the patient is is reluctant to have their doctor examine the rectum or go through the hassle of cleaning before the test.

If a colonoscopy or colonography examination is not sufficient, sometimes a tumor marker (CEA) blood test is used, which helps diagnose a little less than half of colon cancer patients.

Proper Diet for Prevention of Colon Cancer To help prevent colon cancer, consume a diet high in dietary fiber and reduce the intake of animal fats. Include a lot of vitamins A, C, E as well as whole grains, raw green vegetables, and brown rice, etc.

Instant foods, excess seasoning, salt, smoked foods, processed meats, processed foods, unsaturated animal fat, and foods high in calories or fat content should be avoided.

The best way to prevent colon cancer prevention is through regular colonoscopy. If you know you are supposedly at high risk of colon cancer, have a family history of colon-related diseases, or if you suffer from ulcerative colitis or similar diseases, you are advised to get an endoscopic examination on a regular basis. Especially if polyps are found during checkups, they should removed by endoscopic polypectomy to prevent the occurrence of colon cancer .

Even if there you have n symptoms, you are encouraged to get colonoscopies and colonographies between the peak ages of 40-50. If you do not fi nd any signs of colon cancer, continue taking the test once every five years.