Recognizing signs of the disease early

Recognizing signs of the disease early
Recognizing signs of the disease early
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Created: 09/03/2022, 12:08 p.m

Of: Caroline Gehrman


Colorectal cancer is curable if you recognize the signs early. Therefore, keep an eye on symptoms in order to drastically increase life expectancy.

Bremen – Colorectal cancer is an insidious disease. In Germany, it is the second most common cause of cancer-related death after lung cancer. What is dangerous about this type of cancer is that it usually develops slowly and causes no or only unspecific symptoms for a long time. Intestinal cancer is curable and the chances of recovery are actually promising – if the colon cancer screening is right and the colon tumor is discovered early. Appropriate precautions are therefore important. Possible symptoms of bowel cancer should therefore always be taken seriously – even if they can often be triggered by other bowel diseases.

How deadly is colon cancer

Out of 100 people with colon cancer about 62 are still alive after five years. The lower the stage of the disease, the better the chance of recovery. Therefore, go for colon cancer screening, even if you don’t recognize the symptoms of colon cancer right away, in order to drastically increase life expectancy.

Colorectal Cancer Symptoms in Women and Men: Recognizing the Signs Early

Intestinal tumors do not grow overnight, but usually over a period of years. They are usually located in the colon or rectum. Tumors in other areas of the intestine are extremely rare. For a long time, you hardly notice anything about the disease. However, there are some warning signs that the body sends out to look out for. This includes loud German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) fthe following colon cancer symptoms for women and men:

What are signs and symptoms of colon cancer?

  • Changes in bowel habits: particularly frequent urge to defecate, repeated constipation or alternation between constipation and diarrhea
  • Abnormalities in bowel movements: visible blood in the stool, mucus, particularly foul-smelling stools or pencil-thin stools due to narrowing of the intestines
  • indigestion: frequent, strong bowel noises and flatulence, flatulence with unwanted bowel movements, frequent nausea or feelings of fullness despite eating little
  • Pains: Painful bowel movements and abdominal cramps, independent of bowel movements

In addition, a number of other symptoms can occur that do not initially indicate an intestinal disease. They are rather unspecific and can generally indicate a tumor disease. An unusually reduced performance, frequent tiredness and repeated slight fever as well as night sweats can be the first signs of cancer.

Colon cancer does not always cause pain: a doctor should be consulted if you have these complaints and symptoms

If you notice one or more of these signs of colon cancer, you should see a doctor. However, it is important that even if you have one or more of these symptoms of colon cancer, it does not automatically mean that you actually have colon cancer. Noisy DKFZ The symptoms can also have completely different causes:

Colon cancer does not always manifest itself through pain. The disease often develops unnoticed. © AndreyPopov/imago/Montage

digestive problems are therefore often the result of an unbalanced and unhealthy diet. Or they come from the fact that certain foods are not well tolerated. Some people may also have a harmless gut infection or inflammatory bowel disease. blood in the stool in turn, is often due to hemorrhoids, a widening and displacement of blood vessels in the area of ​​the anus.

What pain does advanced colon cancer cause?

In advanced stages of the disease can be noisy DKFZ there are other complaints: If the tumor bleeds regularly, patients can anemia develop that through paleness and fatigue as a symptom of colon cancer. Unwanted weight loss can also occur.

What is the pain of colon cancer?

colon cancer shows a typical clinical picture only in the late stage. These include colon cancer Pains in the abdominal area and in the case of cancer in the rectum in the pelvis or the lumbar spine. You may even be able to feel the tumor, especially if it is on the right side of the colon or in the rectum.

If the tumor is already relatively large, it can often be felt as a hardening in the abdomen. If it narrows the entire intestine due to its size, intestinal obstruction can occur. kick at it severe, colicky abdominal pain up, nausea and vomiting may occur. A bowel obstruction is a medical emergency that requires immediate surgery.

Colorectal cancer: causes and risk factors of the disease

Colon cancer can have various causes: Colon tumors usually develop from initially benign colon polyps. These are growths in the intestinal mucosa. Only about five percent of these polyps degenerate and develop into a cancerous tumor. As you get older, the likelihood of a polyp developing into carcinoma also increases. But increasingly younger people are also being affected by colorectal cancer.

Unhealthy lifestyle as a risk factor for colorectal cancer

In addition to certain previous illnesses and genetic factors, the risk factors include above all an unhealthy lifestyle. It is considered a contributing factor to the development of colon cancer and is characterized above all by little exercise, obesity and regular smoking. Excessive consumption of alcohol and high consumption of red meat are also not recommended.

On the other hand, it is considered advantageous to avoid being overweight, eat a diet rich in fiber and eat more fruit and vegetables.

Unhealthy lifestyle as a risk factor for colorectal cancer:

Little exercise, obesity, regular smoking and a high consumption of alcohol and red meat are considered unhealthy; this promotes the development of intestinal tumors.

Avoiding obesity, eating a high-fiber diet and eating lots of fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Increased risk of colon cancer: Pay attention to these symptoms if you have previous illnesses and genetic predisposition

However, you have little influence on the remaining risk factors that promote the development of colon cancer: These include, on the one hand, family history. If a first-degree relative, i.e. parents or siblings, is affected by the disease, the individual risk of developing an intestinal tumor increases. The earlier the relative falls ill in their life, the higher their own risk.

In addition, certain pre-existing conditions play a major role in determining whether someone will develop colon cancer. These primarily include chronic inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. It is therefore all the more important for people with these diseases to take advantage of regular check-ups. Because early diagnosis is crucial for the chances of a cure for colorectal cancer and all other types of cancer.

Colorectal cancer: Early diagnosis and regular screening are crucial for the chances of recovery

From the age of 50, every insured person in Germany is entitled to regular examinations for the early detection of colon cancer. They are part of the statutory early detection program. The safest way to diagnose colorectal cancer is through a colonoscopy. Men can claim them from the age of 50 and women from the age of 55. From the age of 50, both women and men receive an annual stool test. It is used to detect invisible blood in the stool.

However, since more and more younger people are also developing colorectal cancer who have no legal right to these early detection measures, such as the Focus reported, it is all the more important to be aware of the possible warning signs and to be aware of the symptoms of a heart attack. Anyone who notices symptoms in themselves should not wait until they are legally entitled to check-ups. Then valuable time may be lost, as with the symptoms of depression. The same applies here: If you have any suspicious signs, it is better to go to the doctor again.

The article is in German

Tags: Recognizing signs disease early

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