Bowel cancer of colorectal cancer is a cancer that includes large bowel, rectum and appendix and is a malignant tumor growing from polyps in the colon. Polyps are usually benign, but some may develop into a cancer. This type of cancer is the fifth most common kind of cancer in the USA. It is most common among people over forty years of age, and the risk of developing it rises with every passing year. Treatments of bowel cancer have improved during the past two decades, but there is no cure that can cure it completely. The key thing for successful treatment is early diagnosis.
Symptoms of bowel cancer may include blood from the rectum, diarrhea, pain in the abdomen, constipation, anemia, prolonged bowel movement disorder. Rectal bleeding is especially common for women with colon cancer. In this case, the woman will have blood in the stool, but tehre could be blood at other times as well. It is possible to feel discomfort or pain in the abdomen, to have irregular or different bowel movements. A woman with bowel cancer will notice that her stool is thinner than usual and that it lasts longer than normal. It is also possible for a woman with bowel cancer to lose weight. Weight loss is an indicator of almost all types of cancer. The reason may be that a growing tumor needs energy for its development, so it burns additional calories. A woman with colon cancer will feel tired most of the time, probably due to the loss of calories and blood. If there is a lot of rectal bleeding, the woman will inevitably become anemic. Many of these symptoms are symptoms of other conditions as well, some of which are less serious than cancer and are treatable, but should be investigated anyhow.
It is not determined what causes bowel cancer, but there are several factors. It is known that the cancer develops from polyps, but the cause might also be a hereditary condition, meaning that some member of the closest family has the disease, or that a person has inflammation of the bowel for more than a decade. Some studies, on the other hand, point out the connection between diet and bowel cancer. Namely, this type of cancer occurs in developed countries, so there might be a link between the content of animal protein and fat in the food and the rate of bowel cancer. Although there is no solid evidence that this kind of cancer is caused by nutrition, doctors advise people to decrease the amount of fat and oil and to increase the consumption of fresh vegetables and fruit.
The most common method of treatment is surgery in which the tumor and the surrounding tissue are removed. After the surgery sometimes it is necessary to undergo radiotherapy od chemotherapy in order to destroy all the remainder cancer cells. Although there is no cure for cancer, it is of high importance to diagnose the cancer in its early stage because it is only then the cancer can be treated or its spreading to other organs prevented.