What You Need to Know about Colon Cancer
By Robin Westen
Colon or colorectal cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the colon, rectum and appendix. It’s also the second most common cancer killer in the United States. In many cases, it’s preventable. The best tactic is to know the facts--and take fast action.
Who gets colon cancer? As we get older, the risk of developing the disease increases. In fact, about 90 percent of all colon cancer cases occur in people older than 50. Other risk factors that can lead to development of colon cancer are eating a low-fiber, high-fat diet, being overweight, smoking, and having an inactive lifestyle.
How is colon cancer prevented? With“pre-treatment” and detection. Most colon cancers develop from polyps, small growths found inside the intestine. It’s highly recommended to have a colonoscopy if you’re over 50. If polyps are found, they can be removed before they turn cancerous. Early detection also means early and therefore, more effective treatment.
Are there symptoms? In many cases colon cancer has no obvious symptoms. However, in some cases a warning sign may be rectal bleeding.
Is there a treatment? Surgery is the most common treatment for colon cancer, followed by chemotherapy.