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People older than 50 years should be screened for Colon Cancer

The incidence of colon cancer rise raise with age, so anybody above 50 years age should be screened for it, says oncologist.

Colon cancer is cancer arising from the large intestine. The incidence of this disease in India is raising.

Normally, the symptoms include weakness, lack of blood (anemia) occurring due to blood loss from cancerous lesion in the gut, and/or frank blood in the stool. Besides, if the cancerous mass continues to grow, it can obstruct the lumen.

Cancer can be tackled if detected on time. Many cancers pass through a precancerous stage. They remain in this particular stage for a long time. Colon cancer is one such cancer. It is possible to pick up these lesion through periodic investigations. The incidence of colon cancer rises with age, it is necessary for anybody above 50 years to be screened for it. This is mainly done via testing the stool sample for occult blood.

However, another method is the periodic examination of the whole colon using colonoscopy. Because of these screening procedures, mortality due to colon cancer has come down in many countries.

Early-stage colon cancer is treated with surgery. In many cases, surgery is followed by chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is given to reduce the chances of cancer relapsing. Any cancer releases cells in circulation, which travel to distant sites in the body and give rise to recurrences. Chemotherapy also kills circulating cancer cells and is the prime mode of treatment in advanced cancer cases.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important in preventing colon cancer. Furthermore, one should do a lot of exercises, avoid alcohol, and include plenty of fiber and antioxidants in their diet. Other risk factors are a positive family history of colon cancer and certain inflammatory disorders of the gut.

It is also important to be aware of lifestyle changes and screening tests.

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