Colon cancer is the second most common cancer. Every year about 45,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer, and more than 3,000 die.
What causes colon cancer?
Scientists still have not discovered the main cause of colon cancer. Patients usually have genetic predispositions, and sometimes it develops due to environmental factors, dietary habits or lifestyle choices.
Risk factors also include diet rich in red meat and animal fat, smoking, alcohol, weight gain, and poor physical activity. The disease develops slowly without any difficulties or warnings. Once you notice the symptoms, the disease is already in its advanced stage.
Common symptoms of colon cancer are:
- bloody stool
- changes in gastric emptying
- stomach pain
- weight loss
What is early detection of colon cancer?
Early detection of colon cancer means examination of healthy individuals without any symptoms and signs present, to discover any changes, usually polyps, that indicate cancer development or early-stage cancer.
Polyps are growths inside intestines. Some polyps can, in time, develop strange changes. Early detection and polyp removal before any changes occur can prevent cancer.
There are several ways to stop cancer development. Experts usually recommend examination of stool samples for the presence of blood invisible to the naked eye, which is the first sign of polyps or colon cancer.
Every individual aged between 50-74 should do some testing for the presence of blood.
However, positive results does not necessarily mean that you have cancer. In these cases, people are recommended to do colonoscopy, which shows the root cause of bloody stool, polyps, malignant disease, or other colon disease. If the results are negative, make sure you do another testing after 2 years.