Colon Cancer Symptoms
Colon cancer symptoms are the basic indicators of the generation and growth of cancerous cells in the colon. Intensity and nature of symptoms may vary from stage to stage and person to person. Symptoms do not have a specific order and may be experienced in different order by different people. Thus, all symptoms should be treated with equal seriousness and should not be left unattended for too long.
Why are colon cancer symptoms important?
Symptoms for colon cancer are actually the consequences of cancerous development in the colon or adjacent areas. They indicate the presence of abnormal cells and the damage they cause to the normal functioning of the body. Colon cancer is curable only if detected in the early stages. The chances of eliminating the tumors decrease with an increase in the intensity of malignant cells and tumors. Conditions become worse when these tumors begin to metastasize and start infecting other vital areas of the body. Also, the indications of the cell abnormalities are different for different forms of tumors.
Symptoms shown in the case of cancerous tumors are much more severe and clear as compared to those in benign tumors. Also, the symptoms shown in the primary colon cancer are different in nature as well as intensity from those shown in the secondary cancer of the colon. In the primary type of colon cancer, the cancerous cells primarily limit themselves to a particular area surrounding the colon and spread to other areas of the body as the cancerous cells develop a capacity for metastasis. Thus, the symptoms detected in such situations are normally in the areas surrounding the colon and other parts of the body behave normally as compared to that in the secondary form of colon cancer. Secondary colon cancer shows symptoms that are varied in nature and occur in different areas of the body simultaneously. Secondary cancer may develop in some of the vital areas like abdomen, liver, lungs, stomach, bowel or any other areas adjacent or remote to the colon. Thus, the scope of detection of symptoms in such cases is wide. Colon cancer symptoms are also important in formulating the right kind of treatment to cure cancerous tumors. They give a specific direction to the treatment by sorting out the most affected, fairly affected and least affected areas in a systematic manner. Usually, the areas that are severely affected show serious and continuous symptoms.
Important symptoms of colon cancer
Infections, ulcers and unexpected change in the functioning of the digestive system are some of the earliest indicators of the development of malignant cells in the colon. Infections and ulcers that do not heal by normal medication must be given urgent attention. Such infected areas must be diagnosed thoroughly to detect for the presence of cancerous cells.
Improper functioning of bowels or unexpected changes in their movement are some of the other major indicators of the disease. Consulting a physician and undergoing proper medication is very important in such situations. Some may also suffer from severe abdominal pains and problems during the passage of stools. Passage of blood through stools is also detected in a few cases. Such abnormalities are the prime indicators of the generation of tumors in the colon.
In a few cases, cancerous cells present in the colon also affect the rectum. Thus, rectal pains should be diagnosed properly. Unexpected loss of weight, considerable loss of appetite, problems in swallowing and digesting food are directly related to the growth of cancerous tumors. These symptoms are also common with various other non-cancerous disorders but a thorough medical examination is necessary to minimize the risks.
Diarrhea, constipation and anemia are also some of the consequences of colon cancer and usually occur in the later stages of the disease. Thus, the exact cause of such disorders must be found out with utmost urgency. Physical examination test like biopsy, colonoscopy, ultrasound, sigmoidoscopy and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan can be very beneficial for proper diagnosis on colon cancer. Other methods like computed tomography (CT) scan, positron emission tomography (PET) test, digital rectal exam (DRE) and X-rays can be advantageous in discovering the character and severity of the tumors.
It is very important to track colon cancer symptoms in the initial period of the development of cancerous cells. Colon cancer can be cured effectively if the tumors are detected in the early stages. The pattern of treatment becomes more severe and complicated as the tumors grow older. Most of the tumors can be eliminated by surgery if they are restricted to a particular area. Chemical and radiation treatment is the best option recommended for tumors that show high tendency to metastasize and have the chances of recurrence.