The Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer
There are various types of cancer that we can suffer from, most of which attack a specific region of the body. The treatments available to us to combat the negative effects of cancer have improved over the years but cancer as a disease is still responsible for killing a significant number of people each and every year.
Colorectal cancer or bowel cancer is one such cancer which can have devastating effects, leaving patients without the ability to pass stools unassisted as well as death if left undiagnosed and untreated. In this article, we’ll cover the most common symptoms as well as the possible treatment available.
What is Colorectal Cancer?
Simply a form of cancer which originates in the colon or rectum. It starts with the presence of what is known as a polyp which is a growth on the walls of the rectal region. In time this growth continues to enlarge whereby it has the possibility of transforming into a cancerous cell.
The presence of a polyp isn’t a guarantee that a person will be diagnosed with cancer but there is a possibility depending on the type of polyp found.
There are a number of lifestyle factors that can increase the likelihood of being diagnosed with a form of rectal cancer. Anything that you can do to improve your lifestyle and thereby reduce your risk should be done.
Some key drivers behind colon cancer include;
- Obesity whereby a person is overweight to a point where it could be considered unhealthy. Everything possible to lose excess weight should be done to reduce the likelihood of developing cancer. Larger than necessary waistlines seem to be the largest causation factor with a greater risk shown in men.
- Physical inactivity is another risk factor whereby insufficient physical activity is undertaken on a regular basis. Becoming more physically active may reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.
There are several symptoms which may suggest the presence of colon cancer. This does not automatically mean that you do have cancer but you should consult your doctor to rule it out.
- A change in bowel habits where you experience diarrhoea without any identified cause should be investigated.
- The presence of rectal bleeding or blood in the stool.
- The presence of abdominal cramping and experiencing discomfort.
This list is not exhaustive and is simply a guide to assist you in identifying possible symptoms.
Colorectal Cancer Treatment
Treatment will usually depend on the stage of your cancer at the point of diagnosis. We would suggest undergoing regular check-ups to make sure that cancerous cells are not forming within your body. Colorectal cancer in Singapore can be diagnosed by several doctors who can also suggest the appropriate course of action. The stages of colon cancer are as follows:
- Stage 0 cancer can be treated with removal of the polyp.
- Stage 1 cancer can be treated with removal of the polyp or by removing sections of the colon.
- Stage 2 cancer can be treated with removal of sections of the colon or by chemotherapy.
- Stage 3 and 4 cancers can be treated with removal of the colon and chemotherapy.
The earlier the diagnosis, the higher the likelihood of survival so see your doctor as soon as possible.