Colon Cancer: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Colorectal cancer, often known as colon cancer, is a kind of cancer that affects the rectum or colon. It is the third most frequent cancer in both men and women, and it claims the lives of over 50,000 Americans each year.

If colon cancer is not diagnosed and treated early, it can be deadly. As a result, it is critical to comprehend the disease’s symptoms, causes, treatment choices, and preventative techniques.
In this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about colon cancer, including ways to lower your chances of getting it.

What is Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, affects the large intestine (colon) and the rectum.

Symptoms of Colon Cancer

The following are some of the most prevalent symptoms of colon cancer:

  • Changes in bowel motions might include diarrhoea, constipation, or a change in stool consistency.
  • Rectal leakage or blood in the stool can be bright red or dark in colour and indicate a dangerous problem.
  • Cramping, bloating, or a sense of fullness in the belly are examples of abdominal discomfort or pain.
  • Unintentional weight loss: Losing weight without intending to do so might be an indication of colon cancer.
  • Fatigue or weakness might be caused by the cancer’s influence on the body or by blood loss.
  • Chronic bleeding in the intestines can induce iron deficiency anaemia.

Causes of Colon Cancer

Although the precise aetiology of colon cancer is unknown, there are a number of risk factors that might raise the probability of acquiring the illness. The following are some of the most frequent risk factors for colon cancer:

  • Age: The risk of colon cancer increases with age, with the majority of cases identified in adults over the age of 50.
  • A family history of colon cancer, as well as certain genetic diseases such as Lynch syndrome or familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), might raise the chance of getting the illness.
  • Personal history of polyps or colon cancer: If you have previously had precancerous polyps or colon cancer, you are more likely to get colon cancer again.
  • Persistent inflammation of the colon, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, can raise the chance of developing colon cancer.
  • A diet heavy in red and processed meats, poor in fibre, and high in fat and calories can raise the chance of developing colon cancer. Physical inactivity, obesity, smoking, and excessive alcohol use can all raise the risk.
  • Diabetes: Individuals with type 2 diabetes may be at a higher risk of developing colon cancer.

It is essential to remember that having one or more risk factors does not guarantee that you will develop colon cancer, but it is vital to discuss any concerns or symptoms you may be experiencing with your healthcare professional. Frequent screening tests can aid in the early detection of colon cancer, even before symptoms appear.

Treatment Options for Colon Cancer

Many factors, such as the extent and location of the cancer, the patient’s general health, and their own preferences, influence which colon cancer treatments are recommended. Common treatments for colon cancer include:

Surgery for Colon Cancer

The majority of patients with colon cancer have their tumors and some of the adjacent healthy tissue surgically removed. Colon removal is sometimes necessary, although just in part (partial colectomy) or, in extreme situations, the whole organ (total colectomy).

Radiation Therapy for Colon Cancer

Radiation treatment is the employment of high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. In order to shrink the tumor or kill any remaining cancer cells, it might be given either before or after surgery.

Chemotherapy for Colon Cancer

Chemotherapy is the use of chemicals to kill cancer cells throughout the body. It can be used before surgery to reduce the tumor (neoadjuvant chemotherapy) or after surgery to destroy any leftover cancer cells (adjuvant chemotherapy).

Targeted Therapy for Colon Cancer

During a targeted therapy, drugs are administered specifically to those proteins or genes that promote the growth of cancer cells. It may be used with other treatments like chemotherapy or radiation.

The stage and location of the cancer, as well as the patient’s general health and treatment preferences, all play a role in deciding which course of action to take. In some cases, it may be necessary to use a combination of treatments. It’s important to weigh the benefits of each treatment option with your doctor before settling on a course of action.

How to prevent Colon Cancer?

There are various strategies to lower your chance of developing colon cancer, including:

Lifestyle Changes to Reduce the Risk of Colon Cancer

  • Diets low in red and processed meats, saturated fat, and alcohol, and rich in fibre, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains have been shown to reduce the incidence of colon cancer.
  • Frequent physical exercise can help lower the risk of colon cancer. On most days of the week, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity.
  • Keep a healthy weight because being overweight or obese increases your chance of developing colon cancer, it’s critical to maintain a healthy weight through food and exercise.
  • Reduce your alcohol consumption: Because excessive alcohol use has been related to an increased risk of colon cancer, it is advised to restrict your alcohol usage.
  • Don’t smoke because smoking has been related to an elevated risk of various forms of cancer, including colon cancer, stopping can help lower the risk.
  • If you have a family history of colon cancer, you may be at a higher risk, so talk to your doctor about when and how frequently you should be examined.

Screening for Colon Cancer

Regular screening procedures, such as colonoscopies, can aid in the early detection of colon cancer, even before symptoms appear. Discuss when and how frequently you should be tested with your healthcare practitioner.

You may minimise your chance of developing colon cancer by living a healthy lifestyle, obtaining frequent tests, and understanding your family history.


What are the first signs of colon cancer?

The first signs of colon cancer include abdominal discomfort, bowel changes, and blood in the stool.

What is the cause of colon cancer?

Although the specific origin of colon cancer is unclear, some risk factors, such as age, family history, and a diet heavy in red meat and processed foods, might raise your chances of acquiring the illness.

How is colon cancer identified?

Many tests are used to diagnose colon cancer, including colonoscopy, biopsy, and imaging studies.

What treatment options are available for colon cancer?

Colon Cancer can be treated by several ways, such as by surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy.

Can colon cancer be prevented?

Certainly, healthy eating habits and regular exercise can help minimize your risk of colon cancer. Colon cancer screening is also suggested for anybody over the age of 50, and even earlier for individuals with a family history of the illness.


To summarise, colon cancer is a fatal illness that may be avoided if diagnosed early. Knowing the disease’s symptoms, causes, treatment choices, and preventative techniques is critical to lowering your chance of having it. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, be checked on a regular basis, and seek medical assistance if you notice any symptoms of colon cancer.

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