colorectal cancer
By Okbima 27 Apr 2024 9

Colorectal (Colon) Cancer: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments & Surgery

 

Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that affects the colon or rectum. It can be caused by many factors such as a diet of meats and low in fiber. Symptoms include changes in bowel habits, blood in the stool, and abdominal discomfort. In this blog, we’ll cover stages of color cancer, treatments, prevention, etc.

 

What Is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer or colon cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the colon or rectum, which are parts of your large intestine. It begins as polyps, which are growths on the inner lining. These polyps may turn cancerous over time. While there are no early symptoms, rectal bleeding, blood in the stool, and persistent abdominal pain can be signs. Early detection is crucial for successful treatment, which can involve surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

 

Colorectal Cancer Symptoms

It can be hard to tell colorectal cancer symptoms if you have it at first. But, you should give attention to signs like changes in bowel habits, blood in your stool, abdominal pain or cramps, etc.

  • A change in bowel habits that lasts for more than a few days, such as diarrhea, constipation, or feeling like you haven't completely emptied your bowels

  • Rectal bleeding with bright red blood.

  • Blood in your stool, which may make your stool look dark brown or black.

  • Narrow stools.

  • Abdominal pain or cramps.

  • Weakness and fatigue.

  • Unintended weight loss.

 

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Stages Of Colon Cancer

Colon cancer has four stages, each indicating the tumors' growth and spread & we have mentioned them in detail.

  • Stage 1: The cancer is within the inner layers of the colon or rectum and has not spread to nearby lymph nodes or other organs.

  • Stage 2: The cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes but has not spread to other organs.

  • Stage 3: The cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes and in nearby tissues or organs.

  • Stage 4: The cancer has spread to distant organs such as the liver, lungs, or bones.

 

Colorectal Cancer Causes

Colorectal cancer causes include genetic predisposition, lifestyle choices such as a diet high in processed meats & low in fiber, obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, etc.

  • Age: Colorectal cancer is more common in individuals over the age of 50. 

  • Family history: People with a family history of colorectal cancer or certain genetic conditions, such as Lynch syndrome, are at a higher risk.

  • Personal history: Individuals who have had previous colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps are at risk of colorectal cancer.

  • Inflammatory bowel disease: Individuals with inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, have the risk of colorectal cancer.

  • Lifestyle factors: Factors such as a diet high in processed meats, low in fiber, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity & physical inactivity increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

  • Radiation therapy: Previous radiation therapy to the abdomen or pelvis for another type of cancer may increase the risk of colorectal cancer. 

  • Diabetes: People with type 2 diabetes have the risk of colorectal cancer.

  • Genetic mutations: Certain genetic mutations, such as the APC gene mutation, can increase the risk of colorectal cancer. 

 

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Colorectal Cancer Treatments

The most common colorectal cancer treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy.

  • Surgery: Surgery is the most common treatment for colorectal cancer, especially in the early stages. The choice of surgery is determined by the location and size of the tumor. It involves taking out part of the colon or rectum, or even nearby lymph nodes.

  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses powerful drugs to kill cancer cells or stop their growth. It is used before or after surgery to shrink the tumor or prevent recurrence. 

  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to target and kill cancer cells. It is used in combination with surgery or chemotherapy to treat colorectal cancer.

  • Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy drugs target specific molecules that are the reason for cancer growth & spread. They can be used in combination with chemotherapy to treat colorectal cancer.

  • Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy boosts the body's immune system to recognize & attack cancer cells. It is a newer treatment option for colorectal cancer & is often used in advanced stages of the disease.

 

Prevention Of Colon Cancer

Some ways to prevent colon cancer include maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, limiting alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, etc.

  • Get screened regularly: Screening for colon cancer can help detect precancerous polyps or early stages of cancer before symptoms develop. The recommended age to start regular screenings is around 50 years old, but it may be earlier for those with a family history of colon cancer or other risk factors.

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity can increase the risk of colon cancer. By maintaining a healthy weight through diet & exercise, you can reduce your risk of colon cancer.

  • Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet of fruits, vegetables & whole grains, can lower your risk of colon cancer. Fiber-rich foods can also help promote better digestion & reduce your risk.

  • Get regular exercise: Regular physical activity can help lower your risk of colon cancer. You can do 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week.

  • Limit alcohol consumption: Drinking alcohol in excess can increase the risk of colon cancer. So, limit your alcohol consumption to reduce risk.

  • Quit smoking: Smoking can also increase the risk of colon cancer, as well as many other health problems. So, quit smoking to reduce your risk of colon cancer.

  • Know your family history: If you have a family history of colon cancer or other gastrointestinal conditions, talk to your doctor about your risk and the need for earlier screenings.

 

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Does Health Insurance Cover Colon Cancer?

Yes, health insurance covers treatment for colon cancer. However, coverage may vary depending on the specific insurance policy and the terms and conditions mentioned by the insurance provider.

Points to consider when buying health insurance coverage for colon cancer:

  • Policy Coverage: Some health insurance policies may cover the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care for colon cancer. This coverage includes hospitalization expenses, doctor consultations, diagnostic tests, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy & other treatments.

  • Pre-existing Conditions: Most health insurance policies have a waiting period for pre-existing conditions, including cancer. This means that if you are diagnosed with colon cancer before buying the policy or during the waiting period, the treatment expenses may not be covered initially.

  • Sum Insured: The coverage for colon cancer treatment depends on the sum insured chosen at the time of purchasing the health insurance policy. Higher sum insured amounts provide better coverage for cancer treatment expenses.

  • Policy Exclusions: It's important to carefully read the policy document to understand any specific exclusions related to cancer treatment. Some policies may exclude coverage for certain types or stages of cancer, experimental treatments, or alternative therapies.

  • Network Hospitals: Many health insurance providers have tie-ups with network hospitals where cashless treatment for cancer and other medical conditions is available. 

  • Claim Process: If you are diagnosed with colon cancer and need to make a claim, you will need to follow the insurer's claim process, which may include submitting medical documents and bills.

 

Read More:

Weight Loss: 10 Tips, Diet Plan For Male & Female, Exercises, Foods & Drinks

Diabetes: Types, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Exercises & Diet

Fatty Liver Disease: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Diet

Parrot Fever (Psittacosis): Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, colorectal cancer is a serious and life-threatening disease that can be caused by many factors including genetics, age, diet & lifestyle choices. Symptoms may include changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, and unexplained weight loss. 


Treatment options for colorectal cancer can include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, depending on the stage and location of the cancer. Early detection and treatment are crucial to improve & increase the survival rates. To get the best health insurance with colon cancer coverage, contact “Our Experts”.

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