Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that grows in the colon, or at the very bottom of the colon that is connected to the anus (rectum). This cancer can be named colon cancer or rectum cancer, depending on the location of the cancer growth.
Most colorectal cancers start from intestinal polyps or tissues that grow on the wall in the colon or rectum. However, not all polyps will develop into colorectal cancer. The possibility of polyps turned into cancer also depends on the type of polyps themselves. There are two types of polyps in the colon, namely:
- Adenoma polyps. This type of polyps that can turn into cancer, therefore adenomas are also called pre-cancerous conditions.
- Hyperplastic polyps. These types of polyps are more common, and usually do not become cancerous.
Besides, depending on the type of polyp, there are several factors that can affect the change of polyp into colorectal cancer, such as the size of a polyp larger than 1 cm, there are more than 2 polyps in the colon or rectum, or when found dysplasia (abnormal cells) after the polyp is removed.
Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors
The cause of colorectal cancer is unknown, but you may be at risk of experiencing it when:
Polyps grow on the inner walls of the colon or rectum and usually occur in those who are over 50 years of age. In general, polyps are benign (not cancerous), but as time passes and genetic changes, some polyps may turn into cancer.
Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease (colon inflammation)
If a person has been exposed to a condition that causes inflammation of the colon (such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s Disease) for several years, then he or she has experienced an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Personal Cancer History
If a person has had colorectal cancer, he can regain the cancer a second time. Women with a history of ovarian cancer, uterus (endometrium) or breast cancer also has a higher risk of colorectal cancer.
History of Colorectal Cancer in The family
If you have a family with a history of colorectal cancer, then you have a greater risk than others to get the same cancer, especially when your brother is exposed to cancer at a young age.
Those who smo**ke, consume foods that are high in fat and have little in vegetable, have an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
Over 50 years old
Colorectal cancer is very likely to occur when a person’s age grows. More than 90% of the sufferers aged over 50 years.
Colorectal Cancer Symptoms
Check with your doctor if you have the following colorectal cancer symptoms:
- Changes in bowel habits (diarrhea or constipation)
- Feeling nauseous or vomiting
- Feeling that your defecation is not complete
- Feeling very tired all the time
- Find a blood (either bright red or very dark) on your stools
- Your stools are smaller than usual
- Often experience pain due to gas or cramps, or feel full or bloated
- Experiencing weight loss for no apparent reason.
Note that these symptoms can be caused by other health problems and are often not due to cancer. Also, it is important to note that early-stage cancers usually do not cause pain and may not have obvious symptoms. Therefore, anyone with these symptoms should visit the doctor to perform colorectal cancer screening as soon as possible.
Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis
To make colorectal cancer diagnosis is carried out gradually, among others through proper anamnesis, physical examination, and supporting examination in the form of laboratory tests, both from clinical laboratory and anatomical Pathology Laboratory.
Furthermore, the supporting examination of imaging such as plain photo or, by contrast (barium enema), colonoscopy, CT Scan, MRI, and ultrasound transrectal is also required in establishing the diagnosis of the disease.
Colorectal cancer treatment
Treatment of colorectal cancer begins with surgery, then accompanied by radiotherapy and adjuvant chemotherapy.
Colorectal Cancer Prevention
Special precautions have not been found, but maintaining a good diet can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.