Diseases Cancer

What Are the Symptoms Of Colon Cancer?

Introduction

The symptoms of colon cancer can cause the average person to feel depressed and stressed. Colon cancer affects the large intestine and sometimes the rectum. It is often referred to as a colorectal cancer due to the areas in which it impacts. Colon cancer usually exhibits itself as small clumps or polyps that are visible during a colonoscopy.

If caught in time, this cancer is usually treatable and the survival rate is high. Certain risk factors can increase a person's chance of developing colon cancer. Risk factors include older age, other inflammatory intestinal conditions and a sedentary lifestyle. People who are obese and those with a low-fiber, high-fat diet are also at a greater risk of developing colon cancer. A physician can help to determine if you are at risk of having colon cancer.

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of colon cancer may not be present until the latter stages of the disease. Common symptoms of colon cancer include a change in bowel movements and fatigue. A change in bowel movements can result in either frequent constipation or diarrhea. Most colon cancer sufferers may also note a change in the consistency of their stools. Other symptoms that may appear as the disease progresses include abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss and a feeling that the bowel has not completely emptied. Rectal bleeding may also occur. Whether or not symptoms are present depend on the size of the cancer and its location within the colon. The symptoms can vary widely from person to person.

When To Seek Help

You should seek medical help if you notice any symptoms of colon cancer. Your doctor will most likely recommend that you should be screened for colon cancer. Colon cancer screenings usually begin at the age of 50. If you have a family history of colon cancer, your doctor may recommend that you begin screenings at an earlier age. African-Americans and American Indians are recommended to start screenings for colon cancer at the age of 45. If you have already been diagnosed with colon cancer and the symptoms you are experiencing worsen, consult with your physician. Your physician may be able to prescribe medication or other therapies to reduce the impact of the colon cancer symptoms.

Conclusion

Treatment options for colon cancer vary based on a variety of factors including your overall health. If you have other underlying conditions, your physician will need to consider them when determining the best treatment for the colon cancer. Your physician can prescribe medications to lessen the symptoms of colon cancer that you are experiencing. Some sufferers of colon cancer have opted to employ alternative treatments to help with the symptoms of the disease. Alternative treatments have included exercise, relaxation exercises and dance therapy. Your physician can help you find an alternative treatment to help with your symptoms that is safe and that will not interfere with the traditional treatment you are receiving. If possible, avoid activities that may exacerbate your color cancer symptoms or that may hinder your recovery. Lifestyle choices such as drinking and smoking can have a significant impact on your body.

By Laurel Moore, published at 02/23/2012
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