Incidences of colon cancer have increased over the last few years. If you don’t detect colon cancer early, it may metastasise in other organs and be fatal.
Time and again, statistics show an alarming increase in this type of cancer. It is the second most commonly diagnosed type in the world, following breast cancer in women and lung cancer in men. Colon cancer occurs much more frequently in men.
One of the most disturbing aspects of this disease is that people who appear to be healthy – and who, indeed, feel healthy – suddenly discover during a routine checkup that they’ve got aggressive colon cancer. Shocked, they suddenly find themselves faced with an uncertain future.
It’s for this reason that so many preventative measures have been identified. If you’re aware of the warning signs your body gives you, you can prepare for problems or symptoms that appear when something doesn’t feel right. Pay proper attention to these signals and don’t be tempted to brush them off or ignore them.
Detect colon cancer
It is unfortunate but true that cancer of the colon doesn’t usually display any specific symptoms. In fact, its hallmarks are often symptoms that can be confused with benign and perfectly normal issues – the presence of blood in stools, for instance.
People who have had a recent diagnosis of haemorrhoids probably won’t worry when they occasionally find blood after having a bowel movement. It’s an error of judgment, however. The best advice is to ensure that there is nothing more serious going on. See your GP for a professional test that will determine the causes of the condition. Tests such as a colonoscopy will show whether it’s a factor related to haemorrhoids or something altogether more worrying.
Be wary if you’re defecating more or less often than you normally do. If you are constipated one minute and have diarrhoea the next, there may be a problem. It’s not very pleasant, but it could save your life to also pay attention to any changes in the appearance of your stools. For example, if they’re smaller, thinner or more fragmented than usual, you may want to book an appointment with your GP. Another tell-tale sign is feeling as if you still have to defecate even when you’ve just been to the toilet.
Educate yourself! If there’s a history in your family of polyps or colon cancer or if you have relatives with ulcerative colitis disease, you may be at greater risk of developing similar illnesses. It’s also useful to bear in mind that people who are frequently constipated are more likely to contract cancer of the colon.
A faecal occult blood test is the first step in the diagnostic process. If it comes back positive, a colonoscopy should be performed as quickly as possible. To reiterate: bloody stools are not always an indication of colon cancer, but it’s best to err on the side of caution. Even though it could be the result of a polyp or an inflamed haemorrhoid, wouldn’t you rather be certain? It’s better to know than to needlessly worry.