How Much Do You Know About Bowel Cancer?

Q:
How much do you know about bowel cancer?

A:
Bowel cancer is a general term for cancer that begins in the large bowel. It is sometimes called colon or rectal cancer.

Bowel cancer symptoms are very common, and most people with them don’t have cancer. So if you have the following symptoms, don’t worry. Consult a doctor for the true cause and diagnosis.

Symptoms of bowel cancer

  • having persistent blood in the stools for no specific reasons
  • going more often to the toilet, with looser stools
  • suffering from persistent lower abdominal pain, bloating or discomfort, and thus you may lose appetite and weight

Causes of bowel cancer
What causes bowel cancer is yet unknown, but there are a number of risk factors:

  • age – people aged 60 or over have a higher risk
  • diet – a diet high in red or processed meats and low in fiber can increase your risk
  • weight – bowel cancer is more common in people who are overweight or obese
  • exercise – being inactive increases your risk of getting bowel cancer
  • alcohol and smoking – a high alcohol intake and smoking may increase your chances of getting bowel cancer
  • family history – having a close relative who developed bowel cancer under the age of 50 puts you at a greater lifetime risk of developing the condition.

Treatment for bowel cancer

  • surgery – removing the cancerous section of bowel
  • chemotherapy – using medication to kill cancer cells
  • radiotherapy – using radiation to kill cancer cells
  • biological treatments – increasing the effectiveness of chemotherapy and preventing the cancer spreading

In a word, how to cope with their diagnosis and treatment varies from person to person. Be sure to consult a doctor before choosing your treatment or changing your diet.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.