We all know cancer can attack just any part of your body though nobody still knows the exact reason behind any type of cancer. Here is everything about bowel cancer or what is in medical terms called colorectal adenocarcinoma. Basically, it is the cancer of the colon or the rectum due to uncontrolled and unwanted cell growth in the large intestine or in the appendix.
The symptoms of bowel cancer may look like a very ordinary sign of sickness and therefore any prolonged abnormality must never be ignored. Here is what you should look out for:
- Blood in the stool: People often mistake it for diarrhea or simply, the result of a little injury due to constipation.
- Sensing a lump: If you sense a lump in your abdomen or lower back you must not ignore it. Never ignore any sudden and abnormal growth in your body.
- Weight loss: This is a symptom common to almost all type of cancers and all types of minor sicknesses and therefore the most ignored one.
- Drop in hemoglobin level: Again, a symptom so common that people only take it for anemia.
- Pain: An unreasonably painful abdomen or unexplained pain around the rectal area is a strong sign of bowel cancer.
- Bowel obstruction: This leads to pain in the lower area, constipation and a perpetual sick and bloating sensation leading to nausea or even vomiting.
The exact cause of no cancer is really known but there are some factors that are known to increase the chances of rectal cancer and they are:
- Old age: More people over 50 years old get colorectal cancer than people younger than that.
- Bowel diseases: People with bowel obstruction or diseases like the Crohn Syndrome or ulcer are more likely to develop colon cancer.
- Lifestyle: Obesity, lack of physical activity, uncontrolled smoking and alcohol consumption along with an unhealthy diet affects the whole bowel system and can lead to bowel cancer.
- Heredity: If quite a few people in your family got it, it is possible you get it too though if you take precautions, chances are minimized.
- Genetic disorder: Familial adenomatous polyposis is something to worry about.
Reduced intake of red meat, alcohol and nicotine in any form with an increased consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains including calcium and Vitamin D in the diet and some physical exercise in the daily routine can reduce the chances of developing bowel cancer. For those already at a high risk due to genetic or hereditary factors, Aspirin, Celecoxib or a similar medication is recommended. People with low to average risk are not prescribed such medication though.
Here is a list of various processes of diagnosis:
- A series of blood tests: Basically in search of the carcino-embryonic antigen (CEA)
- Colonoscopy: A visual study of the entire colon
- Sigmoidoscopy: Study of only the sigmoid, the rectal end of the colon
- CT Scan: Of the chest, abdomen and lower body
- Endorectal Ultrasound: Imaging with the help of subsonic vibrations
Of anybody is unfortunately diagnosed with bowel cancer the treatment procedures include surgery chemotherapy and radiation. Palliative care is given to those with incurable cancer.