A lot has been said about colon cancer in recent years. Its occurrence in women is increasing as well, with it being the second most common cancer among us. Why does it happen? What causes it? The causes are currently unknown, which is why prevention and being aware of the symptoms of colon cancer is essential.
Today we will talk about the common symptoms of colon cancer in women, for your health and peace of mind. Colon cancer has a treatment and there are many people that beat it every year, which is why we want to invite you to learn about the facts below.
1. What Is Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer begins in the colon or the rectum. They are both related, and although they are treated differently, they have the same symptoms and origin. In order to understand it a little better, we will remind you what purpose these parts of the body have.
- When you eat, food is digested in the stomach and then processed and eliminated by the intestines.
- First it passes through the small intestine, the longest part of the digestive system, which is in charge of digesting and obtaining nutrients from food.
- Then, the residues go from the large intestine to the colon, which is in charge of absorbing the water, synthesizing some types of vitamins and storing waste that will later be carried to the rectum. This last section is 15 centimeters wide, and that is where colon cancer comes from.
2. How Does Colon Cancer Begin?
Colon cancer has its origins with the growth of one or multiple polyps inside the covering of the colon walls or rectum. They grow on the inside and can have a flat or oval shape.
It is here where prevention has a vital relevance. Most of these polyps are benign, but if they are not removed in time, they can turn cancerous. They are called adenomas, and only show signs of their presence when they take on a certain size and when they come in contact with feces, they bleed. That is when you will realize that something is happening.
Many countries are beginning to schedule periodic colonoscopies for preventative measures. If a polyp is detected in time, when it is small, the risk of contracting colon cancer is eliminated. Regardless, there may come a point when you notice something strange. So, with any problem, no matter how insignificant it may be, alert your doctor of this. It is worth it.
3. Symptoms of Colon Cancer
- Blood in stools: This is the most evident symptom and the one that you should never ignore. We know that it is not pleasant at all, but it is important that you always observe the color and shape of your stools, especially if you see any traces of blood. The color may be red or black, and it is due to the stools coming in contact with the polyps in your colon or rectum that bleed once they rub against something.
- Anemia: Women tend to experience anemia more often than men. It is usually due to heavy menstruation, but it is important that you always know the causes. If you are diagnosed with anemia, ask your doctor to also do a stool analysis to see if there is any presence of blood.
- Changes in your digestion processes: Do you to tend to experience constipation one week and diarrhea the next? Then tell your doctor. It is important to know the origin of this change in your digestion process.
- The shape of your stools: Pay attention to any change in the shape of your stools, especially if they are suddenly thinner. This could be due to the presence of polyps that make the intestine smaller and prevent normal bowel movements.
- Strange bowel movements: Do you feel that you still need to go to the bathroom after you have done so? That something is still inside of your intestines? This problem is called tenesmus and you should alert your doctor of this.
- Abdominal pain: Do you feel very full after just eating? Do you feel tired and bloated? Don’t ignore this. It is surely due to something not very important, like gas, but if you notice that your stools are now different, for example, in addition to those symptoms, see your doctor. It isn’t difficult and you will be more calm once more serious things are ruled out.
- Weight Loss: When you have a colon problem, you will stop properly synthesizing a lot of nutrients, foods will not be processed the same… All of that will make you lose a few pounds. It is worth keeping in mind.
4. Can Colon Cancer Be Prevented?
What’s most important about colon cancer (just like with any other kind) is to be aware of the symptoms and try to have a good quality of life. Currently, there is no strategy that you can follow to 100% prevent this type of disease, but it is always important to try to take care of yourself as much as possible everyday.
Here are some tips that may help you:
- If you are a smoker, what is preventing you from quitting? Start today!
- Follow a mediterranean diet, rich in fruits, fresh vegetables, and olive oil.
- Cleanse your intestines regularly: It is great, for example, if you start the morning with a glass of warm water and lemon, or a tablespoon of olive oil with a few drops of lemon, and even an aloe vera infusion.
- Take care of your intestinal flora by taking probiotics.
- Ginger and mint infusions in the afternoon will also take care of your colon.
- Drink a liter of boiled artichoke water twice a week is also very medicinal.
- Manage your stress and anxiety properly.
- Exercise a little bit every day, for example by walking every day for an hour.
Will you start today?