MCU’s Black Panther Star, Chadwick Boseman is no more! “Chadwick dies due to colon cancer,” his family stated in the public. He was just at his age of 43 years, and the actor has been struggling with the disease since the last 4 years. Diagnosis of this disorder was evident since a couple of years and today, he passed away at his residence in Los Angeles.
Undoubtedly, Colon Cancer has become a killer, and here is all that you need to know about this life-killing, its symptoms, treatments available and more!
What is Colon Cancer?
Before we get to know what colon cancer is, let’s brief about which part of the body it is! Colon cancer is basically the final part of our digestive tract. The large intestine is referred as ‘colon.’ There is no specific age group of having this disorder. Colon cancer usually develops as a small clump cells called ‘polyps’. It is better to remove these polyps before they actually turn into cancerous cells. The other name of Colon cancer is Colorectal cancer. It usually combines colon cancer and rectal cancer as it begins right in the rectum area.
Colorectal cancer occurs due to abnormal cell growth and division. These precancerous tumors grow slowly over the years, but may not spread. However, any kind of additional genetic mutation may destabilize the cells. They invade different other layers of the large intestine as well, including that of the submucosa or muscular layer.
In a nutshell, Colon cancer is a malignant tumor that builds up from the inner walls of large intestine (colon). Colorectal cancer is said to be the third leading cause of cancer among both men and women worldwide, particularly among people of increasing age, belonging from the African-American race. Family history or inheritance is definitely a reason for many, to have polyps or long standing ulcerative colitis.
What Are The Possible Colon Cancer Symptoms?
It is hard to detect colon cancer, for the fact that colon polyps or colon cancer at its early stage do not show any sort of cancer-specific symptoms. Therefore, there is no other way to determine colon cancer other than regular colon screening.
Based on the location of the tumor inside the large intestine, it is difficult to identify the disease. Also, the symptoms vary for different areas. Some signs of colon cancer include:
- Dark shaded stool
- Acute stomach ache
- Change in bowel habits
- Rectal bleeding
- Alteration in stool consistency
- Ejection of blood through the stool
- Narrow stool
- Perforation of the colon
- Blockage in colon or adjacent structures
What are the causes and probable risk factors associated to colon cancer?
Colorectal cancer is non-contagious. A previous family history, high fat intake, increased age, primarily chronic ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel diseases are some of the common causes of colon cancer. As cancer tissues keep growing, they harm the nearby cells too, thereby causing metastasis.
As mentioned earlier, the location and size of the polyp is going to determine the severity of the cancer cells. The right colon is usually wider and flexible. According to health practitioners, cancer in the right colon generally grows much before any abdominal symptom is evident. Right sided cancer causes iron deficiency anemia which further leads to weakness, fatigue and shortness of breath.
On the other hand, the left colon is narrower than the right one and it tends to cause partial or complete bowel obstruction. It may lead to bloating and abdominal cramps.
What is the diagnosis procedure to detect colon cancer?
A colonoscopy is the primary test when a colon cancer is suspected. In this process, a long, flexible viewing tube is pushed into the rectum to inspect the inner layers of the colon. Barium enema X-rays is another test to detect colorectal cancer. However, colonoscopy is said to be more accurate, as it detects smaller polyps as well. Removal of precancerous polyps will prevent the future development of the cancer cells.
Another procedure is sigmoidoscopy which uses a shorter flexible scope to examine both the rectum and the left colon. Except a few limitations of being incapable to screen the right and transverse colons, this is rather more easily performed. A sigmoidoscope is also used to perform Cancer biopsy.
After the suspection of colorectal cancer is confirmed, additional tests are scheduled to determine the extent of this disorder. From stage I to that of stage IV, the severity of this disease is measured. The chances of cure for stage I colorectal cancer is more than 90%. Stage II implies the extension of tumor and stage III cancers manifest its spread to local lymph nodes. Stage IV represents the metastasized version of the polyps.
What are the treatments available for colon cancer?
The most common procedure for treating colon cancer is surgery. This is said to be enough for patients having stage I colon cancer. Chemotherapy is advised to the ones with stage II cancer. A stage III colon cancer has lesser options of cure.
What are the preventive measures for colorectal cancer?
Change in lifestyle and eating a variety of fruits, veggies and nutrient-rich grains will lower the risks of colorectal cancer. However, people above the age of 50 years having a family history should go for regular screening to ensure detection of the cancer at the very first stage.