Bowel cancer is considered one of the most insidious types of cancer. Initially, it develops without symptoms, which reduces the likelihood of recovery. Also, signs of bowel cancer and its first symptoms may indicate other diseases, so timely diagnosis will increase the chances of treating the tumor.
Causes and early signs of intestinal cancer at an early stage.
The intestinal walls are made up of very small cells that grow and die off regularly. Sometimes their growth is out of control of the body, causing abnormal tumors, called cancer. If the tumor does not invade nearby tissues and organs, it is called benign. Such tumors are rarely life-threatening.
But if the tumor grows and destroys the neighboring cells, it is called malignant. Cancer cells spread to various parts of the body through blood vessels and lymphatic channels.
Causes of disease
The causes of intestinal cancer remain completely unknown. Only a few of the risk factors underlying the disease have been identified. They are divided into six main categories:
- Genetic factors. The risk of disease increases two to four times, if the relatives of the first degree of kinship were observed neoplasms. This is due to hereditary syndromes laid down at the chromosomal level.
- Dietary factors. It is proved that the lack of fiber, an excess of saturated fat in food, as well as excessive alcohol consumption stimulates the development of tumor tumors.
- Professional factors. Some categories of workers in the metallurgical, synthetic, leather and woodworking industries are susceptible to the development of cancer.
- Neoplastic polyps. Malignant transformation is most common in adenoma villi (35–40%).
- Inflammatory bowel disease. An increased risk of bowel cancer is associated with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
- Factors of age and lifestyle. Overweight, smoking and age over 50 years increase the likelihood of illness.
How does bowel cancer manifest?
Bowel cancer goes unnoticed for some time. Consider the symptoms and the first signs that can warn about a neoplasm:
- the presence of blood streaks and blood in fecal discharge;
- mucus during bowel movements;
- digestive changes leading to alternation of diarrhea and constipation;
- fecal feces have a thin appearance;
- increased urge to defecate without leading to a bowel movement;
- frequent cramping abdominal pain;
- observation of nausea, increased flatulence and loss of appetite;
- feeling of constant fatigue and decreased performance;
- significant weight loss;
- paleness of the skin, as with anemia.
However, observing these symptoms, you should not make hasty conclusions, since they can signal a different, less dangerous disease.
Symptoms of a tumor in the intestines in women
With the spread of tumor neoplasm behind the intestinal wall and damage to neighboring organs, along with the symptoms described above, there are other first signs of cancer characteristic of women. If the tumor has affected the lower part of the intestine, then it can affect the anus and female genitals. A woman will experience pain in the anus and back.
If there has been a germination of a neoplasm in the back wall of the vagina, then a rectovaginal fistula may appear, and a stool leakage will be observed. There may also appear blood and pus discharge, pain during urination.
The first signs of neoplasm in men
In men as well as in women, the symptoms listed above are observed. If the tumor has affected the upper and middle portions of the intestine, then, most likely, it can grow into the bladder and a fistula is formed. In this case, men become infected with the urinary tract and fever begins, emptying the bladder is accompanied by gases and feces.
It is also possible leakage of urine through the anus. When a prostate is affected by a neoplasm, problems with urination are noticed.
What to do if you suspect cancer?
If intestinal disorders do not improve within a few weeks or even worsen, consult a specialist. He will prescribe all the necessary studies that he considers appropriate to clarify the reasons. Paramount are urine and blood tests, showing the overall picture of your health.
If blood is detected in fecal secretions, digital rectal examinations are prescribed, which can isolate the growing damage in the intestines. For this, two types of endoscopy are commonly used:
- Rectoromanoscopy: The doctor inserts a hard tube into the rectum and the sigmoid lower part of the colon to see if there are any abnormalities.
- Colonoscopy: for this procedure, the doctor inserts a long flexible tube that penetrates deeper into the intestine.
During these procedures, a piece of pathological tissue or polyps can be taken, which is sent for research to detect cancer cells. Other tests may also be performed to diagnose bowel cancer. One of them is the study of computed tomography. After this procedure, X-rays allow you to see abnormalities in the abdominal cavity and intestines.
Barium enema is another test that helps diagnose bowel cancer. To do this, a liquid with barium is injected into the patient’s intestines with an enema and a series of radiographs showing the area of the tumor spread are performed. If the diagnosis is confirmed, the doctor prescribes the necessary treatment, and in extreme cases, resort to surgical intervention.
Watch your health and with alarming symptoms do not hesitate to go to the doctor. Take care and be healthy!