How to prevent colon cancer

How to prevent colon cancer

How to prevent colon cancer

The last six-foot-long part of the human digestive system is called the large intestine. And this colon cancer is called colon cancer. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in the world regardless of gender, although there is no accurate data on the prevalence of this disease in Bangladesh. However, colon cancer is considered one of the top five major cancers.

How is colon cancer diagnosed?

The doctor first performs a physical examination of the patient and notes the complete medical and family history of the patient.
Doctors recommend the following diagnostic tests for colon cancer:
Blood tests: A complete blood count and liver function tests are done to get an idea of the cause of colon cancer.

Stool tests: These tests are done to detect the presence of blood hidden in the stool. This test can be done once every one or two years.

Sigmoidoscopy: This is a minimally invasive procedure that examines the sigmoid colon (the last part of the colon) for abnormalities using a flexible tube with a light at one end.

Colonoscopy: In this procedure, a long tube with a small camera attached to one end is used to look inside the colon and rectum to check for the presence of tumors.

Imaging tests (X-ray, CT scan, MRI scan, PET scan, ultrasound, angiography): These are done to get a detailed image of the colon.

Biopsy: A small piece of tumor tissue is excised and sent to a laboratory to examine its contents.

Colon cancer treatment

Colon cancer treatment depends on the cause and severity of the disease. Some of the treatments for colon cancer include:

1. Surgery

In the early stages of colon cancer, the surgeon can surgically remove the cancerous polyp. If the polyp is not attached to the intestinal wall, the result is excellent. If cancer has spread to the bowel wall, the surgeon may remove part of the colon or rectum and nearby lymph nodes. If possible, the surgeon can reattach the healthy part of the colon to the rectum. If other types of surgery are not possible, the surgeon may perform a colostomy. This is a procedure where an opening is created in the abdominal wall for the removal of waste products. Colostomy can be temporary or permanent.

2. Chemotherapy

The use of certain drugs to kill cancer cells is called chemotherapy. Chemotherapy also helps control tumor growth.
Chemotherapy is usually done after surgery to destroy any lingering cancer cells. Some of the common drugs used for chemotherapy include capecitabine, oxaliplatin, fluorouracil, etc.

3. Radiation therapy

The use of a powerful beam of energy to target and destroy cancer cells before and after surgery is called radiation therapy. Radiation therapy is often used along with chemotherapy.

4. Other medicines

Certain medications may be used to treat colon cancer.
These drugs are used in late-stage colon cancer when other treatments have failed and cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

How to prevent colon cancer?

The following lifestyle changes may help prevent colon cancer:

• Avoid eating processed meats, such as hot dogs or red meats.
• Low-fat diet.
• Increase the use of plant-based foods.
• Exercise regularly.
• Quit smoking.
• Lose weight in case of obesity.
• Limit the use of alcohol.
• Diabetes control, if any.
• Try to reduce stress levels.
• Get regular screening tests for colon cancer after age 50.

How to prevent colon cancer
How to prevent colon cancer

What are the risk factors for colon cancer?

There are some risk factors that increase the chances of colon cancer. These risk factors include:

Aging: Although colon cancer can occur at any age, most people with colon cancer are over 50 years old.

History of colon cancer: If a person already has colon cancer or has a history of non-cancerous colon polyps, the risk of developing colon cancer increases.

Americans and Africans: Africans and Americans have an increased risk of colon cancer.

Inflammatory bowel disease: Chronic inflammatory conditions of the colon such as Crohn’s disease (inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the digestive tract) and ulcerative colitis (inflammatory bowel disease that usually occurs in the inner lining of the colon and rectum) can increase the chance of developing rectal cancer.

Family history: If someone in the immediate family has had colon cancer, the risk of developing colon cancer is higher.

Inherited syndromes: Mutations in certain genes that are passed down through generations in a family increase the chance of colon cancer.

High-fat and low-fiber diet: Colon cancer risk is seen in people who eat a Western diet that is low in fiber and high in fat.

Diabetes: People with diabetes have an increased risk of colon cancer.

Obesity: An obese person has a higher risk of colon cancer.

Lack of exercise: Inactive people have a higher risk of colon cancer.
Smoking: People who smoke are more likely to get colon cancer.

Alcohol: Excessive drinking increases the risk of developing colon cancer.

Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy to treat previous cancers increases the risk of colon cancer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Doctors recommend the following diagnostic tests for colon cancer:

• Blood tests: A complete blood count and liver function tests are done to get an idea of the cause of colon cancer.

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  • Surgery:
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Radiation therapy.

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The following lifestyle changes may help prevent colon cancer:

  • Avoid eating processed meats, such as hot dogs or red meats.
  • Low-fat diet.

There are some risk factors that increase the chances of colon cancer. These risk factors include:

  • Aging: Although colon cancer can occur at any age, most people with colon cancer are over 50 years old.

 

See more posts: Symptoms of colon cancer

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