Monday, 3 October 2011

Colon Cancer Signs and Symptoms

Understanding what the colon is and what its functions are will help us better identify colon cancer signs. The colon is a crucial component of a human’s digestive system. Human beings rely heavily on their colons to help the body absorb vital nutrients, water and minerals.Sometimes colon cancer is also known as colorectal cancer or large bowel cancer. Colon rectal cancer means having cancerous cells growing in the colon, appendix or rectum. These adenomatous polyps growths that resemble mushroom shapes are generally benign in nature but over time have the potential to develop into deadly cancer. It is one of the top leading cause of cancer related deaths in the Western countries. Knowing whether you have cancer without being diagnosed first is almost always a challenging task, therefore it is more helpful to keep a close eye on picking up the signs or symptoms of colon rectal cancer.Learning more about the colorectal cancer signs and familiarising yourself with the symptoms can mean quicker identification of an underlying problem and therefore increasing your chance of catching it early. Often, when cancer is caught early, the patient has a much higher chance of achieving success in its treatment. Sometimes it may feel cumbersome having to go to the doctor for something that you are not sure about but like the old saying goes, “better be safe than sorry”.Early detection of some cancer growths could sometimes mean the difference between life and death. It should not be something that is swept under the carpet and be forgotten about. Whenever cancer is involved, nothing is ever simple. It is a complicated disease.Colon rectal cancer signs and symptoms are generally divided into localised or regional cancer (which means the cancer spread is restricted to just a confined area), constitutional (which means it is affecting the whole body) and the most serious kind metastatic (which means the cancer has actually spread to other parts or other organs in the body and this would normally imply it is now in the blood stream). Localised cancer has a much higher success rate in responding well to aggressive treatment which means the patient will stand a good chance of beating the cancer.Colon rectal cancer signs are often mistaken for other conditions such as irritation bowel syndromes, Crohn’s Disease. Significant colon rectal cancer signs can include a sudden change in your bowel habits. If you develop diarrhoea or severe constipation, or if you notice a change in the consistency of your stool for more than two weeks in a row, consult your doctor immediately. Any constipation or digestive complaints should clear within five to seven days and should not last for more than two weeks. Sometimes these discomforts or symptoms can also happen to patients with digestive tract problems, that is why it is best to consult your local doctor as soon as you notice any abnormal bowel habits to allow time for the correct diagnosis.If you are not experiencing haemorrhoids or are not suffering from Crohn’s disease and yet you have rectal bleeding or notice blood in your stool, again this could be signs of colon rectal cancer. Other signs to watch out for are persistent abdominal pain, painful stomach cramps, pain with each bowel movement, constant fatigue and chronic bloatedness.

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