Colon cancer has become a significant concern today, as it has become one of the leading causes of death. It is a type of cancer that starts in the lower portion of the digestive system, particularly in the colon. It can also begin in the rectum, at the end of the colon. Dr. Bharat Pothuri, one of the best GI doctors in Houston, Texas, encourages everybody to get an early diagnosis to find an effective treatment option. Here is essential information you need to know about colon cancer that can help you act before it’s late.
Signs that Can Indicate Colon Cancer
Being aware of the indicators of colon cancer can save your life. This is because there is a higher survival rate when cancer is detected early. Although colon cancer’s exact cause or symptoms are unknown, most people diagnosed with cancer possess some common characteristics. Please act quickly upon noticing the following signs.
Rectal bleeding is one of the signs of colon cancer. Therefore, if you notice any blood on your stool or the toilet paper, it is good to be concerned and speak to a doctor. Blood in your stool might not necessarily mean you have cancer, but it’s good to be sure.
Although diarrhea is a common symptom of many health complications, it is a sign of colon cancer. However, you should get concerned if the bowel habit persists for over three weeks.
Mucus on your stool should alert you to seek medical advice about colon cancer. This is a clear, sticky odorless secretion that facilitates the slipping of stool. It should be produced adequately by the bowel, but it can be excess in case of irritation.
Lumps can indicate colon cancer. Although other complications can cause them, lumps in the abdominal area should send you to your doctor as they could be cancerous.
Other common signs indicating colon cancer include anemia, persistent abdominal pain, and unexplained weight loss.
If you notice any of the above signs or others that concern you, you can contact GastroDox PLLC and book an appointment with Dr. Pothuri.
Stages of Colon Cancer
Stage 0 is the earliest and is where the abnormal cells can only be traced to the colon’s inner lining.
Stage 1 means that cancer has spread into the muscle layer.
Stage 2 means that cancer may be spread into the colon walls and even to the nearby tissues.
At stage 3, cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
Stage 4, which is the most advanced stage, means that cancer has spread even to other distant organs such as the lungs and the liver.
What You and Your Family Should Note
It is important to note that colon cancer begins with polyps and any history of noncancerous colon polyps is a risk factor for cancer.
Inherited syndromes increase the risk of having colon cancer.
A family history of colon cancer means that you are more likely to develop cancer.
Your lifestyle can increase the risk of colon cancer. A sedentary lifestyle, smoking, heavy alcohol use, and low-fiber, high-fat diet can pose a colon cancer threat.
Early screening is also essential to manage any signs of colon cancer. If you have a risk of cancer, it is necessary to be screened as soon as you experience suspicious symptoms. Dr. Pothuri diagnoses colon cancer through colonoscopy, which is the best way to discover any suspicious growths. In case cancerous cells are identified, a CT scan is used to determine the stage of your cancer. This is important in designing the most effective treatment option.
Learn more about colon cancer by scheduling an appointment at GastroDox PLLC.