Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine, the final part of the digestive tract.
What is colon cancer?
Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine, the final part of the digestive tract. In most cases, this cancer starts out as small, benign (noncancerous) collections of cells called adenomatous polyps. These polyps can, over time, become colon cancers. For the most part, adenomatous polyps produce few to no symptoms, so it is recommended that you schedule regular screenings with your doctor to test for colon cancer. Identifying the polyps and removing them early may prevent cancer.
What are the causes?
The exact cause of colon cancer is not clear. We do know that it occurs when healthy cells in the colon develop issues with DNA. Healthy cells grow and spread throughout your body to keep it functioning normally. When a cell’s DNA is damage and becomes cancerous, they continue to divide even when new cells are not needed. As the cell count grows, they accumulate and form a tumor. Cancerous cells eventually destroy normal tissue nearby and can travel to other parts of the body to form deposits there (a process known as metastasis).
Inherited gene mutations that increase the risk of colon cancers can be passed on genetically. Having said that, these inherited genes are only linked to a small number of cancers in the colon.
Another factor to consider is your diet. Studies have shown that diets low in fiber and high in fat can increase the risk of colon cancer. Researches are still determining the link between high-fat, low-fiber diets and the microbes that live in the colon, which cause inflammation that may contribute to your cancer risk. Diabetes and obesity can also increase the risk of colon cancer. At MediMax Obesity Institute, we help patients properly manage their diets. We provide lifestyle guidance and meal planning services. Request a consultation to learn more.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Colon cancers cause a change in bowel habits, including constipation, diarrhea or a change in the consistency of your stool that lasts for about a month. You may also experience a persistent discomfort in your abdomen (including gas, pain or cramps), fatigue or weakness or unexplained weight loss. Rectal bleeding in your stool is a telltale sign, and if you do notice blood in your stool, schedule an appointment with a doctor immediately.
During the early stages of this disease, no symptoms will be present. When symptoms do appear, they will vary depending on the cancer’s location and size in the large intestine.
Get treatments in British Columbia
Request a consultation at MediMax Obesity Institute to get evidence-based medical advice, weight loss solutions & medications, healthy lifestyle services.* All of these services can help to ward off colon cancers.* If you feel that you are at risk for this disease, schedule a consultation at one of our three locations: Abbotsford, Langley or Chilliwack. We specialize in helping patients fight obesity and the health problems associated with it.* Request your consultation online or give us a call at (604) 217-1827.
*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.