It is a highly important physiological function as it regulates the water and salt levels of the body and prevents their unnecessary excretion. Carcinoma of colon is also known as colorectal cancer or bowel cancer. It is a malignant tumor that arises from the inner wall of large intestine.
People who are at the risk of colon cancer may be those who have had colon polyps, long standing ulcerative colitis, those who have high intakes of red meat and alcohol and those who have less physical activity. Other risk factors for colon cancer are smoking, obesity and genetic causes.
Colon cancer is becoming one of the leading causes of death in the United States. There are numerous symptoms of colon cancer and if any of these symptoms are found in an individual, an immediate medical attention is quite much necessary. Some of the symptoms of bowel cancer are mentioned as follows.
This may be an important symptom of colon cancer. If there is any blood in stool or if there is any bleeding from rectum, then this might be an indication of an underlying carcinoma.
Everyone has their own bowel habits. Sometimes changes may affect ones bowel habits but these changes are temporary. Changes that may persist for six weeks or more have to be given attention.
Colon is associated with the absorption of important substances from waste material such as water and salts so that the waste material changes from liquid to solid. Excessive absorption may cause constipation, whereas less absorption may result in diarrhea.
Hence, if the conditions such as diarrhea and constipation may occur in the bowel habits of a person which is unusual to them, and if these changes persist for more than six weeks, then seeking medical attention becomes necessary.
Loss of appetite could also be one of the symptoms of colon cancer.
Weight loss due to no apparent reason may an indication of underlying cancer.
Abdominal pain, abdominal discomfort, frequent gas pain, bloating and cramps are also counted as symptoms of bowel cancer. Abdominal symptoms may usually occur if the left side of colon has developed cancer. Other symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea and blood in stools may also be due to development of cancer in the left side of colon.
This is a more serious symptom of colon cancer. As the stages of cancer progress, there may possibly occur bleeding inside the bowel. Bleeding in bowel may occur in the cancer of colon that had developed since years.
Slow bleeding for a long time will result in red blood cell reduction in the body and this will eventually lead to anemia. Iron deficiency anemia can be a symptom of right sided colon cancer. Signs of anemia include shortness of breath, fatigue and weakness.
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