The malignant tumors located in the organ that we call the large intestine are known as colon cancer. General Surgeon Cengiz Dibekoglu from Istanbul Florence Nightingale Hospital, said “Colon cancer is a frequent contributor to deaths from cancer according to the studies” and laid emphasis on early detection.
What are the symptoms of colon cancer?
The disease may be asymptomatic until it progresses. However, special attention should be paid for the cases such as diarrhea or constipation, rectal bleeding or blood in stool, abdominal distention, cramps and pains for no reason, feeling of discomfort and unable to relax completely after bowel movement, fatigue, unexplained weight loss.
What is polyp?
Polyp is a mushroom-shaped growth that protrudes into the colon. Polyps may be benign at the beginning but may develop into cancerous in time. While polyps smaller than 1 cm in size have a lower possibility to become cancerous, the risk of developing cancer for those larger than 2 cm in size may increase by 50 percent . Eighty percent of colon cancers are most frequently encountered as polyp. Therefore, struggling with those polpys may prevent the development of colon cancer.
Is it preventable?
The detection and removal of polyps before they develop into cancer is possible. Therefore, cancer screening with colonoscopy is very useful for the early detection in patients at risk. When polyps are detected and removed, the risk of cancer due to that polyp is significantly decreased. It is not possible to tell whether all polyps are headed for cancer. Such polyps should be followed at certain intervals after they are removed.
What should we eat?
Consumption of fiber containing foods is important. Consumption of whole grain bread has protective effects. It is recommended to avoid the foods that are high in fat and refined ingredients, to be on a fruit-vegetable weighted diet, to abstain from red meat and high-fat foods, and to followa a calcium-rich diet. Folic acid supplements may also be taken. Regular exercise, smoking cessation, having check-up at certain intervals are also the methods of cancer prevention.
Methods of Diagnosis
Colonoscopy is of great importance for the detection of disease. A colonoscope is a thin, tubular instrument with a camera mounted at the end that can be advanced through the large intestine. By means of this instrument, we can perform a visual inspection and screening of the entire inner surface of the colon. It also allows us to obtain a biopsy specimen from a detected tumor and perform a pathological examination. Colonoscopy also allows us to remove the polyps completely so that the cancer is prevented from the very beginning before it develops.
Advanced age and previous colon cancer, or familiy history, low-fiber and high-fat diet, and previous polyp removal may increase the risk of cancer. Sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, obesity, alcohol consumption, the presence of inflammatory bowel disease, familiy history of colorectal cancer are also the risk factors that increase the risk of cancer development.
MİLLİYET Newspaper / January 12th, 2018