Most cases of colon cancer start with benign clumps of cells called polypes, which over time can become cancerous.
What are the symptoms?
Polypes produce few, if any, symptoms, and this is why doctors recommend regular screening tests to help prevent colon cancers: every 2 years for people aged over 55 years old or for people with a family history of colon cancer.
Signs and symptoms can include:
- Diarrhea or constipation that lasts for more than 4 weeks
- A change in colour, shape, or blood in your stool
- Excessive gas
- Abdominal pain or cramps
- A feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completly
Who is at risk?
- A family history of colon cancer
- Inflammatory intestinal conditions
- Older age (more than 50 years old)
- Low-fiber, high-fat diet
- Smoking & Alcohol
- Radiation therapy for cancer
How can you prevent it?
- Get screened for colon cancer
- Make lifestyle changes to reduce the risks (e.g. eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, drink alcohol in moderation, stop smoking, exercise etc.)
What are the treatments?
- Surgery (to remove the polypes)
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