The Colon or the large intestine is as important for the upkeep of our health as are other organs like kidney, lungs and heart. Today, a growing number of teens suffer from colon cancer.
Any cancer can be frightening for the patient and her family. And when it comes to colon cancer it’s all the more frightening. Probably cause most patients confuse its symptoms with other casual health problems. Colon cancer isn’t something people talk about openly. So here is a post to help you know all about colon cancer in teens. Read, know and be alert!
What Is Colon Cancer?
The cancer of the large intestine is colon cancer. It begins from a benign clump of cells that are referred to as adenomatous polyps. With time, these polyps escalate to colon cancer.
Causes Of Colon Cancer In Teens:
The exact cause of colon cancer is unclear. But, when the healthy cells in the colon start adhering to the colon lining, colon cancer occurs. Normally, the cells in our body grow and divide themselves evenly.
The process goes on even if the cells get damaged. So when cancer cells develop, they continue dividing and growing whereas they aren’t needed. It is how colon cancer occurs. Factors like dietary habits may also cause colon cancer. Genetics is also a strong reason for cancer.
[ Read: Symptoms Of Lung Cancer In Teens ]
Symptoms Of Colon Cancer In Teens:
In the early stages of colon cancer, there aren’t many visible signs. But slowly they start to appear. The intensity of these symptoms varies depending on the size of the tumor and the exact location inside your teen’s large intestine. Here are some of the symptoms:
- Sudden weight loss for no apparent reason.
- Rectal bleeding (or even spotting blood in stool).
- A sudden change in bowel habits.
- Abdominal discomfort like pain, indigestion, gas or even cramps which is persistent in nature.
- Unexplained weakness and tiredness.
[ Read: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome In Teens ]
Diagnosing Colon Cancer In Teens:
If your teen’s doctor suspects chances of colon cancer, she may be advised to undergo the following tests:
- Computed Tomography Colonography
- Fecal Occult Blood Test
- Double Contrast Barium Enema (1)
Treating Teens With Colon Cancer:
Once the diagnosis is over, the doctor then analyzes the gravity of the disease and accordingly suggests treatments.
The most common treatment is the surgical removal of the cancerous tumor. Once the surgery is over, doctors carry out a detailed examination. If the tumor spreads to other parts, chemotherapy follows. If required, chemotherapy is used to supplement biological treatments.
Degree Of Risk:
The sooner the disease is discovered, the better percentage of almost complete recovery. In any case, colon cancer, on most occasions, is not as dangerous as other cancers. But, it is only true if you detect the tumor early.
Around 50-60 % of bowel cancer patients experience the symptoms for about 5 years. It is not likely to return after this period. But again, every case differs from other, so you never know (2).
Preventing Teenage Colon Cancer:
For those who are undergoing treatment for colon cancer, remember to visit a doctor at regular intervals. With the advancement of technology, more and more surgeons are getting optimistic about curing colon cancer even if it spreads to the liver. However, all of this can only be detected and treated at an early stage.
[ Read: Skin Cancer In Teens ]
- Go for regular screening if there is any chance of being at the risk of colon cancer.
- If there is a family history of colon cancer, it is all the more important to go for check-up as there is an increased risk.
- Adapt a healthy and regular exercise regime.
- Make sure you maintain a healthy weight.
Many symptoms of colon cancer may indicate other diseases too, and it is easy to mistake it for something else. But make sure you get a test done as soon as possible and not take any chances.
Tell us what do you know about colon cancer in teenagers? Do you have more detailed ways of preventing or treating it? Leave your comments below.
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