Colon cancer Part- 2
I have already discussed dehydration as a cause of colon cancer and this is likely to be the commonest cause of this disease. In continuation of this discussion, we shall be looking at other causes today.
Polyps are a collection of cells protruding from the inner lining of the large intestine. They can be located at any point throughout the length of the colon. Ordinarily, polyps are harmless and symptomless and are usually detected through routine colonic examination during a colonoscopy. In a few cases when the polyp has become chronic and depending on the type of polyp, it may lead to the development of cancer of the colon.
Types of polyps
Adenomatous polyps: This is by far the commonest type of polyps and a small percentage of this type of polyp may become cancerous.
Inflammatory polyp: This type of polyp occurs as a result of complications of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Indeed, these two diseases can increase the risk of developing polyp and colon cancer. A third type of polyp is the hyperplastic or serrated polyp. Polyps in this group rarely become cancerous.
Risk factors associated with polyps
Age. There is an increased risk of developing polyps in those who are 50 years and above. Inflammatory diseases of the colon such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis also increase the risk of polyp formation in the colon. Sedentary lifestyle and obesity. Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus
Alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking. Family history. An individual whose parent or sibling has had polyps will be more likely to have it. Race. Among the general population, blacks [African Americans] are more predisposed to having polyps.
Symptoms of polyps
Bleeding from the rectum through the anus. The stools can also be stained with streaks of blood. Change in stool colour. It should be noted that occult blood, which may have arisen from a condition higher up in the gastrointestinal tract could give a dark appearance to the stools. Abdominal pain. This occurs if the colon has become partially blocked by a large polyp. The pain is crampy and can be very severe. Nausea and vomiting.
Constipation or diarrhea. Iron deficiency anaemia. Long standing rectal bleeding can lead to severe loss of iron from the blood. Iron is needed to produce haemoglobin, which is the substance by which oxygen is transported in the blood.Symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia such as tiredness and breathlessness can also be seen.
Other causes of colon cancer include Life style, habits and diet
The following factors can cause colon cancer: consumption of alcohol and cigarette. Eating excessively to the point of becoming obese. The food eaten can also play a role in the development of colon cancer. Such foods as animal fats and proteins, refined carbohydrates and dairy products that do not contain fiber and easily cause constipation, commonly cause colon cancer. A sedentary lifestyle that causes stagnation in the body, accumulation of toxic and acidic wastes and sluggish circulation is a causative factor of colon cancer.
Hereditary. Colon cancer can be due to the DNA in the nucleus of a cell in the colon. Usually, the cells respond to signals from the DNA. This DNA can be destroyed by free radicals and the cells no longer respond leading to genetic mutation. This would cause the cells to stop responding to such signals that should cause the cell to die. This is known as apoptosis, a programmed cell death. However, when the cell loses the ability to self-destruct, it just continues to multiply uncontrollably. An individual may inherit a gene that can easily cause a mutation. Other medical conditions that can cause colon cancer are ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, type 2 diabetes and radiation therapy.
Symptoms of colon cancer
Tiredness and always feeling weak; Lower abdominal pain and cramps; Pain when stooling; Changes in stool consistency and colour. The stool maybe stained with streaks of blood; Constipation or diarrhea; Rectal bleeding; Having the urge to open the bowels always; Weight loss for which the cause has not been found [unexplained weight loss]
Iron deficiency and its complications thereof..