Development of tumorous growths in the large intestine leads to colon cancer. Statistical data show that it is among the most common type of body cancers in the United States.
The large intestine is a part of the gut where the body drains water and minerals from the absorbed food and metabolic wastes. The remaining residue – with a little water – then moves through the gut and excretes through the anus. In the U.S., the third most common cancer-related deaths occur due to colon cancer. According to the renowned journal (The American Cancer Society), more and more people are developing colon cancer and statistical data shown that more than 100,000 people will develop colorectal cancer in 2021.
Colorectal cancer, or co-occurring colon and rectal cancer, is also common. Cancer of the colon can develop in any part of the large intestine. Rectal cancer, on the other hand, is more specific and affects the rectum – the last part of the large intestine.
This article will describe why colon cancer develops, how to recognize and treat colorectal cancer, and how to prevent it.
Stages of colon cancer
Several different ways are used to assign a stage to colon cancer. The stages indicate the severity of the disease, the size of tumor, and how far the cancer has spread to the different organs. Colon cancer has the following stages;
- Stage 0 – The initial stage of colon cancer is also known as carcinoma in situ because the cancer is at a very early stage at this point. It is usually easy to treat as it has not grown outside the inner layer of the colon.
- Stage 1 – Cancer has progressed into the next layer of tissue, such as surrounding muscles, but has not reached the nearby organs or associated lymph nodes.
- Stage 2 – It is an advanced version of stage 1 where the cancer has not spread beyond the colon, but it reached the outer layers of the colon
- Stage 3 – Cancer has further grown, and it has spread to one to three lymph nodes. At this stage, cancer has not yet spread to distant organs.
- Stage 4 – Cancer has reached beyond regional lymph nodes and to the other tissues. With the progression of stage 4, colon cancer reaches distant parts and organs of the body.
1Symptoms of colon cancer
Symptoms of early-stage colon cancer are often nonexistent. However, the disease’s progression may make its signs and symptoms more noticeable. Colon cancer is characterized by various classical symptoms depending on its stage and severity, including;
Unexplained Weight Loss
It has been found that cancer-related weight loss can occur suddenly and unintentionally, including cancer of the colon. A person who loses 10 or more pounds in under six months without any apparent reason should consult a doctor for a proper check up and diagnosis.