Colon cancer is the second most common malignant tumor in incidence and mortality rates. Every year, around 4500 people are diagnosed with this cancer, and more than 3,000 people die.
Why does colon cancer occur?
The exact cause of cancer is not fully clear. It most often occurs as a result of the factor of genetics and environmental factors, diet and lifestyle.
Some risk factors are: diet rich in red meat and animal fat, smoking, alcohol, obesity and lack of exercise.
Why can get colon cancer?
Since colon cancer can be diagnosed in practically anybody, it usually occurs in people between 50 and 74 years of age in both sexes.
What are the symptoms of colon cancer?
The disease has long been developing with no apparent problems. When signs appear, the disease is already advanced.
The most common symptoms of colon cancer are:
– Blood in the stool,
– Changes in bowel movements,
– Abdominal pain,
– Weight loss.
What is the early detection of colon cancer?
Early detection (screening) of colorectal cancer involves testing healthy people with no present symptoms and signs of disease, in order to detect changes, most commonly – polyps, which precede the development of cancer or cancer at an early stage.
Polyps are benign growths in the interior of the bowels. In some polyps, malignant changes may eventually arise. The time of the benign into malignant change is measured in years. Early detection and removal of polyps before the appearance of malignant changes in them, prevents the emergence of cancer.
There are several ways of screening. Testing stool samples for the presence of blood, which is invisible to the naked eye, which is often the first sign of the presence of cancer or polyps in the colon, is the most commonly used method.
Everyone who is 50 to 74 years old should do a test on hidden blood in the stool.
A positive test does not mean the existence of cancer. People who have tested positive should do a colonoscopy, in order to find the cause of the bleeding – benign polyp, a malignant disease or any other disease of the colon.
If the test is negative, again test the hidden blood in the stool after two years.