Bowel cancer (also known as colorectal or colon cancer) develops when cancerous tumours originate from the linings of colon and rectum. These tumours can enlarge with time and then invade the colon completely. Read about cancer in India — the 10 most common types you should be aware of.
The factors that increase your risk of colon cancer are smoking, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease or Crohn’s disease and family history of cancer. In addition to this, additives like sodium nitrite and nitrates used in packaged foods are probable carcinogens that also increase the risk. Here are 8 cancer-causers in your daily life you ought to know.
It is characterized by chronic stomach pain and cramps, feeling of fullness and bloating, change in bowel movements and presence of blood in the stool. The diagnosis of colon cancer involves –
- Colonoscopy is commonly used to detect bowel cancers or precancerous polyps/tumours.
- A new device known as the Third Eye Retroscope has been developed which can be used along with a standard colonoscopy to improve detection.
- Sigmoidoscopy is used to detect cancer in the lowest part of the colon.
- Biopsy confirms the diagnosis.
- A CT or MRI scan can help determine the stage of cancer.
- Scientists have recently developed a new blood test which has shown very promising results for detecting bowel cancer before it develops.
Cancerous tumours in the colon can be safely removed with surgery. To prevent recurrence chemotherapy is usually initiated after the tumour is surgically removed. Radiotherapy may be used before performing a surgery to shrink the size of the tumour.
Read more about colorectal cancer – causes, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.