Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women. Colon or colorectal cancer occurs in the large intestine or the rectum. Colon cancer begin as small, noncancerous clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps that become colon cancers over time. It's not quite clear as to what really causes colon cancer, but doctors are aware that colon cancer occurs when healthy cells become altered.
There are certain factors that can increase one's risk of developing colon cancer:
• A diet that is rich in fat and red meat
• Heavy alcohol consumption and smoking may also contribute to a colon cancer diagnosis
• Genetics, especially if more than one blood relative has had the disease.
What are the signs and symptoms of colon cancer?
• Unexplained weight loss
• Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding
• Fatigue or weakness
• Feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely
• Change in bowel habits such as constipation, diarrhoea as well as a change in the consistency of the stool
Most people with colon cancer experience no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. But when the symptoms appear, they're likely to change and vary depending on the cancer's size and the location in the large intestine.
Lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of colon cancer:
• Stop smoking
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Exercise on most days of the week
• Alcohol consumption should be limited
• Eat a variety of vegetables, fruits and whole grains
If you experience symptoms of colon cancer such as blood in the stool or continuous change in bowel habits, consult with your doctor!