Daily practices, especially bad eating habits such as consuming fast foods; high fat, low fiber foods, alcoholic beverages or smoking regularly are common factors leading to colon cancer development. Most of you are already aware of these unhealthy behaviors but continue to do so because you thought that you are far from acquiring cancer.
The Ministry of Thai Public Health stated that colon cancer is the 3rd most common type of cancer found in both male and female population. Majority of patients are aged older than 50 years old with the starting condition of a small tumor in their colon. The tumor takes at least 3-5 years to turn into a cancerous mass. This disease is also known as a “Silent Killer” because its symptoms will only show once the condition gets serious.
Risk Factors of Colon Cancer:
- Consuming too much saturated fat type of food; fast food, low fiber, burnt grilled foods and preserved food
- Drinking alcohol and smoking
- Lack of exercise or office behavior (sitting at the same position for a long time)
- Having a problem in excretory system ex. Inflammatory Bowel Disease, chronic constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Age older than 50 years old
- A family history of colon cancer or other types of cancers
- A history of colon cancer or tumor of the intestine with Adenomatous Polyp type
Symptoms of Colon Cancer:
- Early Stage: Blood in stool, chronic constipation or abdominal discomfort
- Spread Stage: Liver is the place where colon cancer commonly spread to. Patients may experience abdominal pain around the liver or under the right rib cage. The damaged liver causes a yellowish discoloration of the patient’s body and eyes.
Healing Colon Cancer:
Patients with colon cancer condition have a chance to be cured if the cancerous tumor was removed. In more complicated case which has bigger cancerous mass, chemotherapy and targeted therapy can reduce the mass size until it is removable by surgery.
Diagnosing Colon Cancer
The latest diagnosis method available is Colonoscopy. Besides diagnosing a colon cancer, colonoscopy is also used as a tool to cut off the tumor that is likely to develop to become a cancer.
When Should I Get My Colon Checked?
Normally, people should get their colon check-up when they turned 50 years old. In case a person has a family history of colon cancer; parents or siblings age less than 55 years old has been found to have higher risk of acquiring colon cancer. Hence, these group should get a colon check-up 5 years earlier than the age when their relative was found to have colon cancer. For example, if one of your parents or siblings was found with a colon cancer at age 49 years old, you should get a colonoscopy when you turned 44 years old.
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