The colon is an elongated tube type structure that begins from the end of the bowel to the rectum or the anus. Colon cancer is caused when there is a growth of cancer cells in the colon.
The colon has key functions to perform in digestion and elimination like absorption of nutrients from food, extractions of fluids from faecal material and finally the elimination of waste from the anus. These functions can be affected when the colon is affected by cancer cells leading to colorectal cancer or colon cancer.
Statistics of colon cancer in women
Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world; however it is more common in the developed nations. 62 percent of cases are found in the developed world itself. The risk of developing colon cancer in US is 7 percent. Though the disease does not discriminate between genders, women are prone to contracting if they are predisposed to certain causative factors. For instance, women diagnosed with ovary, breast or uterine cancer are more likely to contract colon cancer. The American Cancer Society says that women who smoke are 40 percent more likely to contract colon cancer than those who did not smoke
Signs of colon cancer in women
The symptoms of colon cancer in women are as under
1. Rectal bleeding in which the stool may contain blood.
2. Feeling of obstruction in the anus during a bowel movement
3. Constipation or regular bouts of diarrhea
4. Belly bulging out, even in the absence of weight gain
5. Chronic nausea, vomiting
6. Losing weight without any noticeable cause
7. Constant fatigue and pale complexion
8. Feeling that one has not been able to evacuate the bowels properly
9. Loss of appetite
10. The consistency of stool may change, may become pencil thin and frequency of bowel movements may also change.
Causes of Colon cancer in women
1. As mentioned, particularly in women, those who smoke are more prone to be affected from colon cancer.
2. The cancer is also caused due to genetic reasons. Though most cases are detected post 60, women who get them before 50 can be due to a genetic reason
3. Women with a history of Crohn’s disease, breast cancer, uterine cancer and ovarian cancer are more likely to be at risk
4. Lack of selenium in the diet, a diet high in red met, obesity, Gardner syndrome , hormone replacement therapy, oral contraceptives and tamoxifen are other causes for colon cancer in women
Colon cancer treatment
Women with the abovementioned signs and symptoms of colon cancer must visit the doctor to find the presence of colon cancer. There are three ways to treat the disease, surgery, radiation therapy or by chemotherapy
Surgery involves surgical removal of the rectal tumor; radiation therapy involves destroying the cancer cells with the aid of precise radiation rays. In chemotherapy, drugs that are administered orally or intravenously, that can specially kill the cancer cells.
In most cases, surgery is typically performed after radiation therapy because size of tumor becomes small and can be removed without much of a problem. The patient should follow up with the doctor after the treatment of colon cancer so that there is no relapse.
Women should go on a healthy diet of essential nutrients, vegetables, fruits, do regular exercises and prevent the causative factors. Also they should e in the watch out for colon cancer symptoms and notify the doctor if there is any room for suspicion.