Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Colon Cancer: A Cruel Health Condition

We all are aware of the dangerous disease called cancer. This deadly disease can occur to anybody at any time. It is actually a group of more than a hundred different diseases. By affecting the body's main unit cell, it can spread to any area of the body and thus can make people suffer a lot.
When it comes to colon cancer, like other body organs, the colon and rectum are also made up of various types of cells. According to the need of the body, the cells divide to produce more number of cells that helps to maintain a good health. However, when the cells keep dividing even when there is no bodily need, a mass of tissues grows. This group of added tissues is known as a growth or tumor and can be benign or malignant.
Benign tumors are not actually cancer and can be easily get rid of. Mostly, these types of tumors don't come back after treatment. In a way, they are little safe, as benign tumors do not spread to other body parts and can be treated easily.
Now, the question is that if benign tumors are not cancer then what kinds of tumors are called cancer. Malignant tumors are actually cancer. When this tumor occurs, it can invade and damage the tissues and organs around it. The most dangerous part of this tumor is that cancer cells can break away from the tumor and can enter into the blood steam or lymphatic system. Thus, it gets spread from the original tumor to form new tumors in the other body parts. In medical term, this process of spreading of cancer from part to another part of the body is known as metastasis. For instance: when colon cancer spreads to the liver, then the cancer cells in the liver are called as colon cancer cells and the disease is called metastatic colon cancer but not liver cancer.
Colon cancer is also known as colorectal cancer which is mostly arises from adenomatous polyps-clusters of abnormal cells in the glands covering the inner wall of the colon. With time, these abnormal growths expand and eventually degenerate to become adenocarcinomas.
People with adenomatous polyposis syndromes usually have a greater risk of suffering from this type of cancer. It is seemed that colon cancer usually occurs to people before the age 40. Apart from that, the factors that may increase the risk of developing colon cancer include: poor diet, obesity, smoking, drugs etc. Regarding diet, it is said that a diet with high-fiber and low-fat could help in preventing colon cancer. According to some research, exercise and a healthy diet including fresh fruits and vegetables is very beneficial in this regard.
Though the symptoms of this type of cancer can't be indicated properly, yet there are certain general symptoms that can be seen during colorectal cancer. Such as: fatigue, weakness, difficulty in breathing, changed bowel habits, narrow stools, diarrhea or constipation, blood stool, unusual loss of weight, pain in abdominal, cramps or bloating.