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What is colon cancer attributable to?

The causes of colon cancer remain a mystery. Environmental and genetic factors (heredity) can increase the risk of developing colon cancer.

What is constipation?

Constipation is not a disease but rather a condition which may be a symptom of several diseases or disorders. All ages can be affected, but likelihood increases with age, the degree of non-mobilisation of patients, the number and quantity of medication and is more common for women than men.

Constipation is defined as a reduction in the frequency of stools to less than three instances per week or the need to push more intensely to empty the bowel. Recently, new criteria have been established in the definition of idiopathic (functional) constipation.

What causes colon cancer?

Almost all colon cancers are caused by polyps. Polyps are benign tumours which are present in the intestine. There are several difference types of polyps. Fortunately, not all result in cancer. The type of polyp which may become cancerous is the adenoma, over the course of approximately ten years.

What is colon cancer and how often does it occur?

Colon cancer is a malignant tumour which develops on the internal surface of the large intestine. It is a common and lethal cancer. In Western society, it is the third most common form of cancer and the second most common cause of death from cancer for men and women. There is a 5-6% chance of getting the disease and 1 in 3 people will die from the disease.

How does one prevent colon cancer?

In two ways:

  1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and
  2. Getting an early diagnosis in the treatable stage of the cancer, before symptoms present or even in having the polyps which can become cancerous removed in the pre-cancerous stage.
What are the symptoms of colon cancer?

It its initial stages, colon cancer does not present with symptoms. If experiencing the below symptoms, a doctor should be consulted:

  • Blood appears in the stool
  • Anaemia
  • Change in bowel movements (Diarrhoea, constipation)
  • Stomach pain or bloating
  • Weight Loss
  • Persistent fatigue

The above mentioned symptoms are not only associated with colon cancer.