Colon cancer occurs when the cells lining the colon or rectum become abnormal and grow out of control. Colon cancer can develop with the mutation of polyps in the intestine, and some colorectal cancers may not show any symptoms. For this reason, regular colorectal cancer screenings are vital for early detection of problems and initiation of treatment. Memorial Health Group Medstar Antalya Hospital General Surgery Department Prof. Dr. İsmail Gömceli told what should be known about colon cancer.
Cancer develops as a result of uncontrolled proliferation of cells
All cells of the body normally grow, divide and then die to keep the body healthy and functioning properly. Sometimes this process gets out of control. Colorectal cancer may develop as a result of uncontrolled proliferation of cells lining the colon and rectum. Cancer that starts from the large intestine is called colon, and cancers that develop from the large intestine of about 15 cm closer to the anus are called rectal cancer. Cancers that affect any of these organs are also called colorectal cancer.
Exact cause unknown
Most colorectal cancers develop from polyps. The exact cause of the development of precancerous colon polyps that lead to colorectal cancer is unknown. polyps; After a series of abnormalities occur in cell DNA, it can change and turn into cancer. If a polyp is found during a colonoscopy, it is usually removed. Polyps removed during a colonoscopy are then examined by a pathologist and evaluated to determine if they contain cancerous or precancerous cells.
You may also need to be tested at a young age.
The best screening methods are stool occult blood tests and colonoscopy. Age to start such screening tests; It depends on risk factors, especially family history of colon and rectal cancer. Even if there is no family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, it is important to consult a specialist without delay if any of the symptoms that may indicate colorectal cancer are present, even at a young age.
The symptoms of colon cancer can be as follows:
- Change in toilet habits
- Blood in or on the stool
- Unexplained anemia (Anemia)
- Abdominal or pelvic pain
- Unexplained weight loss
Some factors that increase the risk of developing colorectal polyps and cancer are;
Age: The risk of developing colorectal polyps and cancer increases as you get older. Colorectal cancer is more common in people over the age of 50, but younger adults can also develop colorectal cancer.
Other medical conditions: Medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, previous cancer history, history of inflammatory bowel disease, and inherited conditions such as Lynch syndrome, familial adenomatous polyposis may increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Lifestyle: Alcohol and tobacco use, not getting enough exercise, and/or being overweight can increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer. In particular, smoking increases the risk of precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer. A diet high in fat and calories and low in fiber, fruits and vegetables has been associated with a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Scans need to start on time
It is recommended that people at risk for colorectal cancer start regular screening at the age of 45, and individuals at average risk at the age of 50 at the latest. However, if there is a personal or family history of colorectal polyps, cancer, or inflammatory bowel disease, screening may need to begin before age 45. Because colorectal polyps and cancer affect both sexes, both men and women should be screened. Colorectal cancer is treated according to the stage of the cancer. Treatment options; surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy to be applied by an experienced team in an experienced center.