Warning signs of colon cancer in women and men

Colon cancer, or colorectal cancer, is most common in men after prostate cancer and lung cancer. In women, it should not be abused, and it is the second most common type of cancer after breast cancer.

In both men and women, it is cancer with an accurate prognosis, with a peak five-year survival of 63%, compared to more than 80% for breast cancer and about 93% for all cancers. prostate;

For good reason, colon cancer is often still diagnosed at an advanced stage of its development. To hope for early treatment that offers better chances of recovery, it is important to know how to recognize the first symptoms, as well as to get them checked regularly.
Overview of Colon Cancer (Colon and Rectal Cancer)
Here are some key points about this cancer:

Colon cancer is a malignant tumor that develops from cells of the colon tissue.
If they are easily categorized with rectal cancer under the name colorectal cancer, it is because they are very similar tumors located in the same areas.
The colon and rectum are composed of similar tissues, and the boundaries between these two organs are blurred.
It is estimated that 80% of colon cancers develop from an adenoma: an adenoma or an adenoma.
The presence of adenomatous polyps is not always synonymous with colon cancer, but only 2 to 3% of these polyps will develop into malignant lesions, often very slowly, within ten years.
The earlier the tumor is diagnosed and treated, the better the patient’s chances of full recovery.
The presence of adenomatous polyps, even non-cancerous, should be closely monitored and even eliminated prophylactically. Such early treatment is only possible when the patient is properly screened because colon cancer does not cause symptoms in its early stages, so the chances of it being detected early are low if it is not specifically sought.

A change in bowel habits can lead to sudden and long-term constipation or diarrhea. Alternating between diarrhea and constipation may also be observed. On the other hand, the presence of blood in the stool is sometimes imperceptible. In fact, blood is not always bright red, but can be black or brown, mixed with the color of feces.

A patient with colon cancer may also have a persistent urge to defecate or unusual sensations when defecating. As cancer grows, it may form a palpable mass in the abdomen. The general state of health of the patient may deteriorate, sometimes there may be weight loss, unexplained fatigue, anemia, and/or episodes of fever.

colon cancer diagnosis
Diagnosis of colon cancer is often delayed despite a structured screening program that has been implemented in France since 2008. It often begins with a clinical examination by a general practitioner as part of a routine consultation for stomach pain or after blood in the stool.

Other tests, including a rectal exam and colonoscopy, can detect precancerous masses. Colonoscopy is used to explore the entire colon for possible tumors and to take samples of cells (biopsy).

Cancer cells taken during a biopsy are analyzed in a laboratory under a microscope. Histological analysis of these cells, which consists in assessing their shape, makes it possible to determine malignancy and classify cancer. Depending on the results of the anatomic analysis of the cancer cells, the medical team will be able to assess the stage and grade of cancer to determine the prognosis and appropriate treatment protocol.

In some cases, a diagnosis of colon cancer may require additional medical imaging tests to guide the biopsy or to gather more information about the extent of the tumors. In fact, colonoscopy is sometimes impossible, or not sufficient, to give a satisfactory view of the lesions.

Finally, if colon cancer is diagnosed at an advanced stage of its development, other examinations will make it possible to search for possible metastases at the level of distant organs. Colon cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in France, but it is often diagnosed too late, due to the ignorance of people at risk of developing this disease and the discomfort that screening examinations can cause. .

However, advances in medicine have made screening tests more accessible, especially thanks to immunological tests that anyone can perform at home, in the privacy of their own home.

It is highly recommended that all people between the ages of 50 and 74 talk with their doctor about their risk of colon cancer and develop a screening strategy that adapts to their level of risk.

For this purpose, there are immunological tests aimed at detecting the presence of traces of blood in the stool, potentially indicative of colon cancer, which everyone can perform at home.
As part of the shows organized in France since 2008, all men and women between the ages of 50 and 74 are strongly encouraged to take this test every two years. If the test reveals blood in the stool, it is necessary to consult a specialist, even if it is not necessarily synonymous with colon cancer.
The first symptoms of colon cancer
Colon cancer usually grows silently, sometimes for years, before it causes symptoms. When symptoms appear, they are mainly abdominal pain, a change in intestinal transit, and the presence of blood in the stool.

Abdominal pain can be moderately acute, very localized, or, conversely, diffuse. It can sometimes remind us of intestinal cramps caused by bloating, and it doesn’t always lead to advice.

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