Colon Cancer: Symptoms & Stages of Colon Cancer

What is colon cancer?

Colon cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Colon cancer is a malignancy that begins in the large intestine, or colon. It occurs when cells in the colon become abnormal and start to grow uncontrollably. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that there will be over 150,000 new cases of colon cancer diagnosed in 2019 and over 50,000 deaths from this disease. In order to prevent colon cancer, it’s important to know your risk factors and get screened for the disease regularly.

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a procedure that uses a scope to look inside the rectum and anus. It is used to check for cancer or other abnormalities.

What is colonoscopy screening?

Colonoscopy screening is a procedure done to check for this. It is a good way to find out if you have the disease early and can get treatment.

Symptoms Colon Cancer

There are many symptoms that should concern you if you have colon cancer, but some of the most common are:

Rectal bleeding. especially after a bowel movement. This could be a sign that cancer has spread to your rectum and may require surgery to remove it.

Anemia. This is often a symptom of severe blood loss, which can be caused by various cancers, including colon cancer.

Nausea and vomiting. These can be indicators of advanced-stage colon cancer and may require treatment in order to prevent further health problems.

Weight loss. A decrease in weight is often an early sign of cancer development, particularly if the person losing weight also has an increase in appetite or cravings for food that isn’t typical for them.

Difficulty breathing.

Causes of Colon cancer

This is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. The five most common causes of colon cancer are:

1) tobacco use

2) a diet high in red meat and processed meat

3) lack of exercise

4) obesity, and

5) hereditary factors.

There are many ways to reduce your risk of colon cancer, including quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, getting exercise, and avoiding obesity.

Treatment for colon cancer

It can be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. The treatment options vary depending on the stage of cancer.

Stages of colon cancer

This typically develops over many years, with different people experiencing the disease at different stages. However, there are five stages of colon cancer that can be identified through various biomarkers and clinical features.

Early-stage this is usually diagnosed when the tumor is small and has not spread to other parts of the body. In later stages, tumors may have grown larger and spread to other parts of the body. Treatment depends on the stage of cancer and may include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.

Stage 0

The first stage of colon cancer occurs within stage 0, in which cancer has not spread beyond the mucosa or inner layer of the colon.

Stage 1

In this stage, cancer has spread from the mucosa, which is the innermost layer of the colon, to the next layer (the submucosa). It might have developed into the muscularis propria, a layer of muscle. The lymph nodes have not been affected by it.

Stage 2

Stage 2 colon cancer is slightly more advanced than stage 1, and has spread beyond the mucosa and the submucosa.

Stage 2 colon cancer is classified as stages 2A, 2B, or 2C.

  • Stage 2A. The lymph nodes or adjacent tissue have not been affected by cancer’s spread. The colon’s outermost layers have been reached, but not entirely.
  • 2B stage. Cancer has grown through the outer layer of the colon and into the visceral peritoneum, but it has not yet spread to the lymph nodes. This membrane is responsible for keeping the abdominal organs in place.
  • 2C stage. The lymph nodes have not been affected by the malignancy. However, it has spread to surrounding organs or structures as well as the colon’s outer layer.

Stage 3

Stage 3 colon cancer is classified as stage 3A, 3B, or 3C.

  • Stage 3A. The tumor is larger than the size of the muscular layers and is found in nearby lymph nodes. It is metastasized to distant nodes or organs.
  • Stage 3B. In either of the following circumstances, colon cancer will be categorized as stage 3B:
    1. The visceral peritoneum has been penetrated by the tumor, which has also grown through the colon’s outermost layers and into other organs or structures. Additionally, one to three lymph nodes contain it.
    2. Although the tumor has not penetrated the colon’s outermost layers, four or more neighboring lymph nodes have been identified to contain it.
  • Stage 3C. The tumor has surpassed the muscle layers in size. Four or more lymph nodes close is also found to have cancer, but not distant sites.

Stage 4.

In Stage 4 colon cancer is classified into four categories: stage 4A, 4B, and 4C.

  • Stage 4A indicates that it has spread to one spot away from the colon, such as the liver, lungs, or lymph glands.
  • Stage 4B indicates that colon carcinoma has spread to multiple spots away from the gut but within the perimeter of the intestines known as the peritoneum.
  • Stage 4C indicates that cancer has spread to the peritoneum.

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