Early Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer and Prevention Methods

Health / Life

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Colorectal cancer or CRC is also known as the colon cancer or the bowel cancer. It is the development of cancer in the colon and the rectum parts, such as the large intestine. CRC is the third leading cause of cancer death in men, and second in women. However, because of treatment improvements and advancement in the screening techniques, the colorectal cancer death rate has been falling.

The Colon Cancer Symptoms

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Colon cancer symptoms include changes in the bowel habits, constipation or diarrhea or a change in the consistency of stool that may last for more than four weeks, blood in the stool or rectal bleeding. Signs of colon cancer also include persistent discomfort or pain in the abdomen, such as gas or cramps, a feeling that the bowel doesn’t completely empty, fatigue or weight loss, and unexplained weight loss.

Many individuals with colon cancer may not experience the symptoms during early stages of the disease. When these symptoms may appear, they usually vary, depending on the location of cancer or its size.

How About the Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer? Are they the Same?

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Symptoms of colorectal cancer are nonspecific and numerous.  They include shortness of breath, weakness or fatigue, narrow stools, change in the bowel habits, dark or red blood in the stool, abdominal pain, bloating, cramps, constipation or diarrhea. The difficulty in diagnosing the disease is that these symptoms are almost the same to other conditions, such as spastic colon, Crohn’s disease, peptic ulcer disease, or ulcerative colitis.

The Colorectal Cancer Prognosis and Stages

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Typically, CRC is slow-growing cancer that may take years to develop in the body of an individual. Since they grow in a stepwise manner, it has been proven that the likelihood of death in connection with the disease will be reduced with the help of cancer screening. Considering the colorectal cancer prognosis, the cancer is most curable during its early stages. A 5-year survival rate for individuals with stage 1 colon cancer is 92%.

For those with Stage 2A and Stage 2B colon cancer, their survival rate is about 69%.

What is the Survival Rate of Colon Cancer 3?

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Although the survival rate of colon cancer 3 is lower compared to early stages, it is proven that stage III colon cancer is curable and treatable. If cancer has already spread to the lymph nodes, a surgery can cure between 30 to 50 percent of the colon cancer 3.

The overall survival rate of colon cancer 3 is between 43 to 83%. Yet, there are some variables that may affect these numbers.

What are the Different Colorectal Cancer Screening Methods?

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Colorectal cancer screening is the test to look for precancerous polyps or evidence of cancer in patients. For instance, those who have a family history of colorectal cancer can undergo a screening test or a diagnostic testing.

There are different colorectal cancer screening types of test, such as colonoscopy, DNA testing of the stool, fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, and digital colonoscopy. It is recommended that the test is undergoing as early as 50 years old, which is the year for average-risk adults. However, there is really no certain recommendation for one to undergo the screening test. A shared decision-making between the physician and the patient will arrive the best cancer screening choice.

Colorectal Cancer Prevention - How to Reduce Risk of CRC

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To lower your risk of developing the disease, your physical activity, diet, and body weight are factors. Being obese or overweight increases the risk of CRC in both women and men.

For colorectal cancer prevention method, stay in a healthy weight or avoid the weight gain in the midsection. Having larger waistline or more belly fat are linked to the disease. Increase your physical activity level as well or maintain a regular moderate activity to lower your risk. Don’t smoke and taking daily multi-vitamins can help.