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How to Recognize Colon Cancer

A patient’s chance of recovering from colon cancer is relatively low. In its final stages, the chances of survival from colorectal cancer are very minimal and end in the death of the patient. But if identified early, survival rates can improve.

About 60% of all cases of colon cancer affect the intestines, while the remaining 40% is from the rectum. The cancers stem from malignant tumors that develop in the mucous membrane of the colon. They often do not cause symptoms.

Colorectal cancer mostly occurs in people aged 50 years and above. It is, therefore, vital to be very cautious at this age in order to identify its symptoms early enough and get treated. Screening is also crucial, especially if you experience symptoms such as:

  • Constipation
  • Increase in the abdominal volume
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Frequent abdominal pain
  • The urge to visit the toilet
  • Blood in the stool
  • Vomiting

Colorectal cancer also presents symptoms that are barely noticeable such as unexplained weight loss and anemia.

Some other severe symptoms can occur when the disease has already progressed. The patient will experience conditions like peritoneum inflammation and intestinal obstruction.

Clinical exams such as rectal examination can help find any abnormalities in the colon and rectum and allow further tests to confirm whether they are cancerous or not. A special test called the Guaiac test or Haemoccult test can help identify tiny traces of blood and antibodies in the stool for further diagnosis.

Colonoscopy is the standard screening method for colorectal cancer. Sometimes a proctoscopy may also be conducted in the rectum to find the tumors and allow the patient to undergo biopsy. Further tests will be carried out to confirm the form, type, and stage of the cancer. This will help doctors to develop an appropriate treatment plan to rid the body of the tumor.

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