Colon cancer is the most common diagnosed forms of cancer in Singapore. It occurs when abnormal cells in the large intestine, also known as the colon, begin to reproduce out of control. Colon cancer can occur at any age and is usually found in people over the age of 50.
Colon cancer begins as small, noncancerous polyps in the lining of the colon. Over time, some polyps can grow and become cancerous. Because polyps are usually small, they may not cause any symptoms, making regular screenings important for early detection.
When detected early, the best colon cancer treatment will be provided. Depending on the stage of the cancer, treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy.
Colon cancer is also referred to as colorectal cancer, which includes both colon cancer and rectal cancer, which begins in the rectum. Though they may be considered together, they are two distinct forms of cancer.
It’s important to know the risk factors associated with colon cancer to be able to spot warning signs and seek colon cancer treatment promptly. These include age, a family history of colon cancer, a diet that is high in red or processed meats, a history of smoking, and being overweight or obese.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Colon Cancer
Colon cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in Singapore, yet many people aren’t aware of the signs and symptoms associated with it. Knowing the signs of colon cancer can help you recognize the disease in its early stages and get timely treatment, which can significantly improve your chances of beating the disease.
So, what are the most common signs and symptoms of colon cancer? Below are some of them:
- A persistent change in your bowel habits – this includes diarrhea or constipation, or a change in the consistency of your stool.
- Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool.
- Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas, or pain.
- A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely.
- Weakness or fatigue.
- Unexplained weight loss.
It’s important to note that many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. That’s why regular screening is so important as it can detect early signs of the disease before symptoms appear.
If you experience any of the signs and symptoms of colon cancer, it’s important to contact your doctor right away. While these symptoms may be caused by something other than cancer, it’s important to have them checked out.
Your doctor can conduct a physical exam, as well as order tests to determine the cause of your symptoms. Early detection is key when it comes to battling colon cancer. By understanding the most common signs and symptoms, you can be more alert for any changes in your health and get timely treatment if necessary.