What is colon (bowel) cancer?


Thick intestine or colon cancer are among the most common types of cancer in the world. It is a type of cancer that is more common in women and men, especially over the age of 50.

What is colon cancer?

The large intestine, which is the end point of the digestive system connected with the anus, is an organ of 1.5 to 2 meters in length. It consists of large intestine, colon and rectum. So where is the rectum? If we answer the question, it is called the part of the large intestine where the last 12 centimeters of stool before the anus is stored. The colon is the other part of the large intestine outside the rectum. Foods that come from the small intestine in a highly digested form are separated again in the colon area, and the remaining part is stored in the rectum after the water and minerals are taken. Cancer that occurs in the colon part of the colon is called colon cancer. If cancer seen in the colon is diagnosed at an early stage, it is possible to be completely cured. However, this type of cancer is not detected early; It spreads to nearby lymph nodes, adjacent organs such as stomach, spleen and other parts of the body through blood. Where is the spleen? For those who wonder, it can be said that this organ is located in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen, just below the diaphragm and next to the stomach.

What are the causes and risk factors of colon cancer?

Age factor : The age of contracting the disease is between the ages of 50 and 60 for males and females. People of this age are at risk. Genetic factors: If colon cancer is seen in family members, the risk of developing colon cancer increases due to genetic predisposition. It is important for those with a family history of colon cancer to learn how old they got this disease and to have a colonoscopy regularly 10 years before reaching this age. Colonoscopy should be done from the age of 50 if the colon cancer story is not in the family. Polyps : What is a polyp? It is the abnormal growth of the layer covering the inside of the large intestine protruding into the intestinal canal. Polyps, which are benign tumors, can turn into cancer over time. For this reason, it is necessary to remove the polyps and to have regular checks afterwards. Genetic disorders : Changes in the HNPCC gene increase the risk of developing colon cancer. Inflammatory bowel diseases : Diseases such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis increase the risk of developing colon cancers. Unhealthy lifestyle : The risk of colon cancer is high in people who consume foods low in fiber, have harmful habits such as smoking and alcohol, diabetes, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.

What are the symptoms of colon cancer?

Symptoms of bowel cancer often manifest as changes in defecation habits. Persistent diarrhea or constipation, thinning of the stool, blood coming from the stool and anus, and a secretion similar to egg white in the stool are among the symptoms of colon cancer. When the cancer progresses, complaints such as swelling and pain are observed in the abdomen. Pain and straining while defecating, anemia due to iron deficiency, weight loss and mass formation in the abdominal area are also findings related to colon cancer.

How is colon cancer diagnosed?

Nowadays, cancer and other tumoral formations in the colon and intestine can be diagnosed more easily using endoscopic methods. It is possible to detect tumor formation at an early stage using the colonoscopy method. In addition, thanks to colonoscopy, polyps with the risk of turning into cancer are removed and the danger of cancer is prevented. For definitive diagnosis, stool is taken from the patient and examined, colon radiography and computed tomography are applied. With endoscopy, a piece is taken and pathologically examined.

What are the colon cancer treatment methods?

For the treatment of colon cancer , polyps that are likely to turn into cancer are removed by colonoscopy method. If the cancer has reached an advanced stage, surgical procedure becomes mandatory. The part of the tumor is removed. In cases where the disease spreads to neighboring areas, chemotherapy is applied. If the cancer has metastasized, treatment is continued and the life span of the patient is tried to be extended.

Prevention of colon cancer

It is important to consume plenty of fibrous foods, to take calcium and vitamin D, to get rid of excess weight and to do sports and exercise. In addition, it is necessary to have screening tests regularly from the age of 50 to determine the possible disease risk at an early time and to treat it successfully.

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Op. Dr. Akın Kocaoluk

Op. Dr. Akin Kocaoluk | Resume

He graduated from 19 Mayıs University Faculty of Medicine in 1998. He is currently continuing his active career in Turkish Red Crescent Altıntepe Medical Center.


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