Pathological processes diagnosed in the colon, such as polyps and inflammatory diseases, can lead to the formation of a malignant tumour. At the same time, the patient may not guess about the development of a terrible pathology for a long time. How to keep the situation under control, and what symptoms are alarming? Oncology of the large intestine, the signs of which have already appeared, requires immediate medical attention.
Both men and women are equally at risk for developing colon cancer, and the course of the disease does not depend on gender either. The only difference is in which parts of the body are more vulnerable in women or men. Thus, rectal cancer is more often found in men – up to 60% of cases, and colon cancer in women – up to 55% of cases.
The disease can begin at any age, but colon cancer is usually diagnosed in patients over 50 years old, with the highest number of cancer cases occurring at the age of 60 to 75 years.
Colon cancer is cunning because it may not manifest itself in any way in the early stages. However, some signs should alert the patient. Diagnosed colon cancer has symptoms that are often the following these days: frequent constipation, incontinence of gas or stool, bloating, a false urge to excrement.
If there is blood in the faeces or stools stained crimson, this is a clear signal that an urgent examination is necessary, since bleeding in the intestinal cavity may indicate a cancer process.
In general, the overall deterioration of health is noted in the case of colon cancer: weakness, loss of appetite and weight, dull abdominal pain. With a progressive process, anaemia appears, expressed by the overly pale skin, intestinal obstruction, and accumulation of fluid in the peritoneum.
Diseases of different parts of the colon are expressed by specific symptoms. So, if a tumour develops in the rectosigmoid colon (rectum and sigmoid), then there is severe pain during a bowel movement. In the case of rectal cancer, purulent, bloody, or mucosal impurities are often observed in the stool. When a tumour in the transverse section of the colon is noted, heaviness, discomfort and aching pains in the upper abdomen are often confused with gastritis or pancreatitis.
Since the course of the disease may be hidden at the initial stage, people over 50 should annually undergo preventive check-ups at a gastroenterologist. If you are diagnosed with colon cancer, the symptoms may not yet appear, but treatment is already required. After a detailed survey (anamnesis) of the patient, examination and palpation of the abdominal cavity, the doctor may suspect the formation of a tumour in the rectal area, then he prescribes a stool test for occult bleeding and complete blood count. If tests have confirmed the physician’s assumptions, further examination is necessary. Colonic irrigation will help keep the intestines and the body as a whole in a healthy state.