What is Bowel Cancer?
Bowel cancer is widely known as colorectal cancer as it is spread in the intestine parts called colon and rectum. This is why it is also known as colon cancer and rectal cancer. Doctors recognize it with different name based on its starting point (area cancerous cells covered). Both the colon and rectal cancer is the part of Bowel / colorectal cancer. Both type of cancer grouped together to form a Bowel cancer.
In Bowel cancer, cells in colon and rectum starts growing unusually and starts covering other healthy cells. That is why it’s important to diagnose them as early as possible. Both the colon and rectum covers big area of large intestine and that’s why this cancer is count as one of the damaging cancer.
Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in India. As per latest survey conducted, more than 1 lack people are diagnosed with Bowel cancer. The ratio for men and women is almost same. More than 50 thousand people were died from this cancer.
Bowel or Colon and rectum cancer types
Adenocarcinoma – Out of total Bowel cancer patients, 95% of patients are affected with this type of cancer. This cancer starts in gland cells.
Carcinoid tumors – This type of cancer is found in cells that makes hormone. This type of cancers is found rarely.
Gastrointestinal tumors – This cancer starts in the wall of colon and then spread throughout the intestine.
Lymphomas – In this type, cancer cells starts targeting immune cells and then spreads to other area.
Sarcomas – Cancer cells starts with area which connects other areas. For e.g. blood vessels or layer.
How Bowel cancer occurs?
This type of cancer affects both men and women. It is widely spreads in ethnic groups (people derived from genetically hybrid set). It is most commonly found in people older than 50 years. Most of the Bowel cancer starts growing in the inner part of colon and rectum. This process is known as Polyp.
There are different types of Polyp. Some of them transform into cancer during several years while other may not convert.
Chances of occurring Bowel cancer
If we consider whole life, the chances of developing Bowel cancer is 4.7% in men and 4.4% in women. The chances are even high with increasing risk factors.
Symptoms of Bowel cancer
Bowel cancer takes years to develop. You cannot easily detect it at early stage. In advanced stage, when Polyp grows as tumor and obstruct colon, it cause following symptoms.
Persistent change in Bowel habit
Feeling of needing a Bowel movement
Rectal bleeding, dark stool or blood found in stool
Stool are narrower than usual
Frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness
Cramping or belly pain
Weakness and fatigue
Heavy weight loss
A Bowel cancer symptom varies and depends on location and size of tumor. If you are facing above symptoms please consult your family doctor immediately.
Associated Risk factor
Research has shown that 90% of Bowel cancer occurs in the people who are 50 years or older. There are some more risk factors associated with this cancer. They are
A chronic disease that affects inner part of colon and rectum
A genetic history and genetic syndromes
Low physical activity and overweight
Low consumption of vegetables/fruits
High fat or low fiber diet
Consumption of alcohol and tobacco
Survival rates in Bowel cancer
Survival a rate tells you that how many people still living after diagnosed with Bowel cancer. Study shows that out of total cancer patients, 90% of the peoples survival rate is 5years after they diagnosed with cancer. If we look at the stage wise survival rates,
If a person diagnosed with stage 1 cancer, 5 year survival rate is more than 92%.
If a person diagnosed with stage 2 cancer, 5 year survival rate is more than 85%.
If a person diagnosed with stage 3A, 3B & 3C cancer, 5 year survival rate is 89%, 69% & 53% respectively.
If a person diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, 5 year survival rate is less than 15%.
The purpose of this article is to know about Bowel cancer. We have discussed some general information on Bowel cancer, how it occurs, what the symptoms are and what the survival rate is. These are the general guidelines; we will discuss Bowel cancer in detail later on.
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