4 Categorized Facts You Need to Know About Bowel Cancer

The  digestive system is a very indispensible organ system. With a normal-functioning digestive system, you can be assured that you receive the right nutrients that your body needs. In your GIT or gastrointestinal tract, you will find the bowel. This is the end part of your digestive tract where the food is absorbed (small intestines) and eliminated (large intestines). The large intestines serve as the last terminal for the food to transit your body. Water is absorbed and fecal material is formed here.

Cancer occurs in the bowel. There are so many people who suffer from bowel cancer. This is said to be the best-understood cancer among all others. Bowel cancer can either be hereditary or acquired. Here are some facts about bowel cancer that you could be interested in:


1. Causes

Bowel cancer is caused by either the diet or genetics of a person. When it is the diet that has to be focused on, intake should be well-considered. Fiber is a very important component of your diet that should always be included for you to prevent bowel cancer. This makes you get rid of the toxins that accumulate in your digestive system. You could get the best quality fiber from vegetables (Brussel’s sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage) and fruits. You should also avoid eating red meat too much. It is also said that if you maintain a healthy diet, obesity is prevented and with this, bowel cancer could very well be avoided. Also remember that you should avoid eating burnt meat, which is commonly seen in the burnt ends of barbeques. A normal body weight is also one of the keys in avoiding bowel cancer.

Another cause of bowel cancer is genetics. About ten percent of the cancers that occur in the bowel are hereditary. The bowel cancer that occurs in the distal end of the digestive tract occurs in the younger population. Those diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis are at greater risk of having bowel cancer.


2. Symptoms

Bowel cancer is primarily manifested with bleeding from the anus. This is rectal bleeding that often makes you feel that you have not yet emptied your bowel yet, followed by the loss of appetite leading to weight loss. Then, diarrhea or constipation follows. During constipation, abdominal pain occurs in waved and may most probably be obstructed. When severe obstruction occurs, then surgery must be done already to avoid making the large intestine gangrenous. Iron-deficiency anemia may manifest through fatigue, shortness of breath, and pallor.

Make sure that you always consult your doctor when you experience any of the symptoms given. This is to enable your doctor to really clarify if what you have is indeed bowel cancer and not any other condition.



3. Diagnosis

Necessary testing for bowel cancer confirmation should be performed. This is to rule out any underlying health conditions that may mimic bowel cancer. By performing biopsy on a rectal sample obtained by the doctor, the doctor could already know if the person has cancer.

Colonoscopy is also performed to see if there are tumors in the bowel. An intravenous sedative is introduced to the patient. This takes thirty minutes to do. Sigmoidoscopy is another way that requires no sedative at all. Barium enema is also done without sedation and is considered more comfortable. Citiscan and ultrasound are also used to check for any growths and obstruction. The fecal occult blood test is also performed to see if there is blood coming out of your lower digestive tract. However, it was found out that 50 percent of those with bowel cancer had negative fecal occult blood results. This is enough to say that this diagnostic test is not that reliable at all in telling if you have bowel cancer or not.



4. Treatment

Treatment of bowel cancer involves surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. During colon surgery, a portion of the colon that’s affected is removed. The tissue surrounding that area is also removed as well.  One is colectomy wherein the two ends of the colon are joined together after removing the tumor. After the surgery, you would have to take pain relievers such as morphine, that you should only use for a short period of time because it is very addictive. This procedure prevents the further proliferation of the bowel cancer. Chemotherapy is the use of cancer-fighting drugs on the specific area of the colon. Radiotherapy is using radiaton to kill the cancer cells of that specific area of the body. This is usually for adjuvant therapy to make sure that the cancer cells are gone.



Always work with your doctor from day one. This will make you very sure of each step that you are going to take. Bowel cancer is a very serious condition. You should be very careful in what you eat and in how you live each day. Keep healthy so you could avoid this fatal types of cancer.

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