Thanks to highly reliable tests as well as more frequent testing, colon cancer has become known as one of the least deadly cancers. If caught in its earliest stages, this type of cancer can be completely eradicated from the body. In order for it to be detected, however, patients must undergo a test known as a colonoscopy to check for polyps that might develop into cancer. This test is especially important for those over the age of 50 since there may be no symptoms that cancer is beginning to form.
Some of the warning signs of colon cancer include blood in the stool, diarrhea, a change in bowel habits or pain in the abdomen or rectal area. It is not uncommon for those suffering with this type of cancer not to experience any of these symptoms at all. A doctor's physical examination will also generally not uncover any abnormalities. Really the only way for this type of cancer to be detected is by performing a particular test known as a colonoscopy.
During a colonoscopy, your doctor will use a video camera attached to a thin flexible tube to examine the inside of your colon. While he is conduction his examination, your doctor can remove any small polyps he might find. You will be given both a shot to reduce pain as well as an anesthesia to help you relax during the test. Nearly everyone who undergoes a colonoscopy will tell you the most unpleasant part of the test is the preparation.
This is because the colon must be completely clean before the test can be successfully completed. When he schedules your test, your doctor will also give you instructions on how to cleanse your colon. These instructions will usually involve taking a combination of pill and liquid laxatives as well as using an enema and not eating solid foods for a day or two before your test.
There are a variety of factors that can increase your odds of getting colon cancer. These can include a family history of the disease as well as a personal history of breast cancer or cancer elsewhere in the body. Those with Crohn’s disease also seem to be more susceptible to this type of cancer. Your diet may also play a role in whether or not you develop colon cancer. Eating a high-fat, low-fiber diet with lots of red meat can also increase your odds of developing this condition.
If you are diagnosed with colon cancer and your doctor is not able to remove the polyps or cancers during your colonoscopy, there are a variety of other procedures that have proven very successful in treating this type of cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation are both forms of treatment used for this type of cancer. Depending on how far your cancer has spread, your doctor may have to perform surgery to remove the cancerous portion of your colon.
Currently, the prognosis for those diagnosed with colon cancer is excellent. This is especially so if the cancer is caught early. Be aware of your risk factors for cancer; also have a colonoscopy if your doctor suggests it. This test could save your life.
For more information on cancer try visiting http://www.cancercondition.com - a website that specializes in providing cancer related information and resources including information on colon cancer