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When diagnosed at the early stage this disease is curable. Colorectal Cancer is detected when abnormal cells grow in the lining of the large intestine (colon) or the rectum. It can occur in both men and women.

What is a polyp?

Sometimes small growth occurs in the inside of the intestine and manifests as polyps. These are harmless most of the time but sometimes they turn into colorectal cancer. Early treatment and removal of polyp will help control the cancer. They form when there is a problem in cell growth and repair that is present in the lining of the colon.

What are the risk factors?

The following can be the risk factors for colorectal cancer.

  • Age beyond 50 years
  • Inflammatory bowel disease or polyps
  • Family history of colorectal cancer

Risks which can be controlled:

  • Eating red or processed meat cooked at high temperature
  • Obesity with fat around the waist
  • Sedentary lifestyle with no exercise
  • Smoking and alcohol use

What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer hardly shows any symptoms until it gets bigger and bad. So we should check if we have any constant bowel problem. Finding early means it is curable. In later stages it leads to blood in stool, stomach ache, constipation and diarrhea. There will also be unexplained weight loss and fatigue. If the tumour gets bigger the treatment is harder.

How is it detected?

Colorectal cancer can be detected during routine bowel screening test. Colonoscopy every 10 years after the age of 50 is advised. It can help detect any polyps in the intestine and the doctor can easily remove it at the initial stage. Fecal blood test is also done to detect any sort of cancerous growth. On suspecting cancer a biopsy of the tissue or the polyp is done to confirm the diagnosis.

What are the treatments?

Surgery at the early stage of colorectal cancer has a high rate of success. During the later state chemotherapy is a treatment adapted to control the spread of cancer.

How to prevent colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer is hard to cure once it grows bigger; hence the best thing is to stop it in its tracks by adapting healthy lifestyle, diet and exercise.

Eat a nutritious diet, get proper exercise, control body weight and burn the extra fat. These can together prevent 45% of colorectal cancer possibility. A diet heavy on vegetables, low on red meat with whole grains instead of processed grains will help keep away any trouble.

Staying active is another way of keeping away colorectal cancer. Those adults who exercise regularly at least for 30 minutes daily are less likely to have the disease. It can be walking, cycling, cardio or strength exercise or any games that can keep you active.

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