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What is Colon Cancer? What are its causes, symptoms and risk factors?

The colon is where the body stores waste material and is part of the human digestive system. The rectum is located at the end of the colon. Colon cancer is the cancer that starts in the large intestine (colon) or the rectum (end of the colon).
The colon helps in digestion and absorption of nutrients from food. It helps to concentrate fecal material by absorbing fluid (and electrolytes) from it and to store and control evacuation of fecal material. Growths that form on the colon, bowel, anus and rectum are sometimes the symptoms are cancer or may be benign tumors. Benign tumors can become malignant if they are not removed.

SYMPTOMS OF COLON CANCER

Symptoms in early stages of cancer are difficult to find. Early symptoms found are:
– Bleeding in the back passage.
– Difficulty in bowel movements.
– Constipation.
– Diarrhea: If it continues for more than 3 weeks, it can be a sign of colon cancer.
– Bowel cancer.
– Loss of appetite
– Loss of weight.

The most common symptom of colon cancer is difficulty in bowel movement especially urgency of emptying the bowel more frequently, severe abdominal pain, anemia, weakness and tiredness. If the cancerous growth starts blocking the large intestine, the patient can experience recurring waves of pain in the lower abdomen.

CAUSES OF COLON CANCER

Nothing specific cause has been observed. Couple of causes can be:
– Healthy cells in colon become altered, cells continue dividing even when new cells aren’t needed. This growth of cells cause precancerous cells to form in the lining of your intestine.
– Inherited gene mutations don’t make cancer inevitable, but they can increase an individual’s risk of cancer significantly.

RISK FACTORS OF COLON CANCER

– African American race.
– Old age.
– Personal history of colorectal cancer.
– Family history.
– Low-fiber, high-fat diet.
– Obesity, Smoking, Diabetic, Alcohol and a sedentary lifestyle.

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