By Dr. Shrikant Kurhade, General Surgery
Colon cancer is the kind of cancer which affects the large intestine that is also known as colon. Generally, most of the cases of colon cancer begin as small and non-carcinogenic lumps of cells also known as the adenomatous polyps. If not treated at the stages of inception, these lumps of cells will result in colon cancer.
Since the polyps or lumps of blood are small or may be produced in few in numbers, there are very fewer symptoms to identify them easily. That is why the doctors recommend the patients to undergo different kinds of screening tests for identifying the colon cancer in the initial stages. Once identified, these will be operated and removed.
What Can Be The Symptoms Of Colon Cancer?
- Now that you know what colon cancer is, here are the symptoms which you should be looking at.
- A drastic change in your bowel habits which includes diseases like diarrhoea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool, that lasts longer than four weeks.
- If there is any kind of rectal bleeding or blood in your stool then it indicates lumps of blood.
- If there is a persistent abdominal discomfort like cramps, gas or pain.
- A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely will also indicate that there are polyps present in the colon or other areas.
- Weakness or fatigue for a continued period of more than 3-4 weeks.
If you identify any of these symptoms then you must surely not neglect them and visit a doctor to prevent any serious consequences related to your health.
What Are The Different Stages of Colon Cancer?
Here are the different stages of colon cancer which you should be well aware of and based on these stages the doctor will recommend you the treatment.
Stage 0: The colon cancer is at a very early stage currently. This stage is also known as carcinoma in situ. The polyps have not grown further than the inner layer of the colon and can be operated.
Stage 1: The first stage of cancer which has started growing into the next layer of tissue, but it has not reached the lymph nodes or other organs yet. This stage is also curable.
Stage 2: In the 2nd stage, cancer has reached the outer layers of the colon, but it has not spread beyond the colon and has not affected the organs.
Stage 3: Cancer has grown through outer layers of the colon when it has reached the 3rd stage. It has reached one to three lymph nodes.
Stage 4: The final stage of cancer when it reaches beyond the organ and lymph nodes. Now it has affected the distant parts of the body and also other organs in the body.