Carcinoma of the colon is a very serious disease. Usually symptoms occur even ignored the stage of the disease and are not always specific. The most characteristic symptoms are:
– Abdominal pain
– Weight loss
– Changes in the stool (very thin, shaped like a pencil)
– Blood in the stool
– Frequent changes in bowel emptying, from diarrhea to constipation and alternately etc.
The disease develops for a long time without any discomfort. When the signs appear, the disease has already progressed.
In the world, it affects more than one million people annually. About 35% of patients are diagnosed with the disease even after metastatic cancer.
After its frequency, colon cancer is one of the three most common malignant tumors in general. In the early stages, the cure rate is 90% (stage I or II). In the III stadium, ie when the disease will spread to nearby lymph glands, the percentage drops to 70%. And in the metastatic stage of the disease, the percentage of treated does not exceed 5%.
It usually occurs in people older than 50 years (90%). Colon consists of two parts: the colon and rectum. Colon cancer is slightly more common in women while rectum cancer is more common in men.
It occurs in people who have low daily physical activity and eat a certain type of food rich in fat. More often occurs in people who already have some other specific diseases of the digestive organs, such as intestinal polyposis etc.
What is early detection of colon cancer?
Early detection (screening) of colon cancer involves testing of healthy people with no symptoms and signs of the disease, in order to detect changes of the frequent polyps preceding cancer at an early stage.
Polyps are benign growths inside the intestines. Some polyps over time can develop some malignant changes. The timing of the transition from benign to malignant is measured in years. With the early detection and removal of the polyps before their emergence change prevents cancer.
There are several ways of screening. By testing a sample of your stool for blood, which is usually invisible to the naked eye, which is usually the first sign of the existence of polyps or colon cancer is the most commonly used method.
All people who are 50 to 74 years should get tested for hidden bleeding in the stool.
A positive test does not mean the existence of cancer. People who were tested proved positive, indicating the colonoscopy to find the cause of bleeding – benign polyp, malignant disease or any other disease of the colon.
If the test is negative, re-testing for hidden bleeding in the stool is repeated in two years.