How necessary is its existence! Today, March 31, is the World Day against colon cancer and, although many times we do not give it the importance that it really has, it is essential that days like these bring us closer to the subject and make us aware of it, don't you think? ?
What is colon cancer?
To know what colon cancer is , we must first know what it is and what function this organ has. The colon is the longest part of the large intestine , belonging to the digestive system of people. Thus , it is essential when it comes to extracting and processing nutrients , while expelling waste from the body .
As for colon cancer , this is a disease due to abnormal growth of colon cells ( malignant polyps ) and the rectal area . However, it is important to note that colon cancer and irritable bowel have nothing to do with each other. In turn, it should also be noted that colon cancer and hemorrhoids are not the same disease either.
Who mainly suffers from colon cancer?
Although you may not know of any cases around you, the truth is that, according to data collected in 2020, 10.7% of the world population has suffered from colon cancer on some occasion .
In addition, it should be noted that in Spain cancer cases (of any type) have increased slightly in recent years. This is due to the growth of society , its aging and the greater exposure to risk factors ).
Among all types, colon and rectal cancer was the disease that most people suffered from last year in our country, with more than 43,300 people affected . In addition, in men it is the second most diagnosed cancer (28,862), since it is only surpassed by prostate cancer (30,884). This high figure may also be caused by the fact that during our lives, men are much more likely to suffer from some type of cancer than women ( 40.9% compared to 27.6%).
At what age does colon cancer appear?
Although there is no exact age (or even if not all people suffer from this disease ) colon cancer has an average age of 68 years . However, the different risk factors must be taken into account , since in many cases they are decisive:
- Family history ; especially from first-degree relatives
- old age _
- Inflammatory diseases of the digestive system , as well as colorectal polyps
- Certain diseases that involve a genetic change , such as Lynch syndrome
- obesity _
- A poor diet low in fiber and nutrients
- Consumption of toxic substances , such as tobacco or alcohol
How to detect colon cancer?
This pathology can be easy both to detect and to treat, since among the symptoms of colon cancer are the appearance of blood in the stool , diarrhea , constipation , pain in the intestines , excessive tiredness , vomiting or changes in bowel habits .
However, colon cancer often appears without symptoms ( silent colon cancer ) and that is why it is essential to have annual medical tests .
How do you know when colon cancer is advanced?
Colon cancer , like many others, can spread to other parts of the body . That is why this pathology is classified into five stages (from 0 to 4), according to its severity or expansion throughout the body. To know these data, a staging is done .
Cancer can spread through the blood , the lymphatic system , or tissues . Depending on how it spreads , we can end up suffering from colon cancer with metastasis in an area close to the colon (through the tissues) or, conversely, if it enters the lymphatic system or in the blood, it spreads to other areas of the body not so close.
In addition, in 25% of the diagnosed cases of this disease , the presence of liver metastasis has been detected ; that is, in the liver . In these cases (and in all those with metastases ), the cancer cells spread , so that in the newly affected area they are identical to those in the original area. That is, the patient will have the same disease in different parts of his body .
How to prevent colon cancer?
Although these types of diseases are unavoidable in many cases and there is no way of knowing if they are going to suffer or not, what a person can do is make decisions to lead a healthy life and reduce risks (especially if they suffer from some factor of risk , previously mentioned).
A good diet , low in animal fats and rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains can greatly reduce the risk of colorectal cancer .
However, the medical team always recommends periodic medical examinations to rule out any type of health problem . These tests are recommended especially for people over 45 years of age, since the risk of getting sick increases with age.
How to treat colon cancer?
There are different types of treatments for people with colon cancer , among which are surgery , chemotherapy , radiotherapy or immunotherapy , among many others. Also, it should be noted that colon cancer is curable , as it has a 65% survival rate .
I hope that World Colon Cancer Day has fulfilled its role and that this article has been the boost you needed to make an appointment and have the pertinent medical tests .