Patient discussion about colon

!!! The questions and answers on this page are written by patients and are not reviewed by health professionals.

Q. How is colon cancer diagnosed?

A1thank you lamsophie, great answer...
A2The definitive diagnosis of colon cancer requires biopsy specimen, usually obtained by colonoscopy (insertion of pipe with camera through the anus into the large bowel).

Colon cancer may be suspected in old people (~50) that suffer from bleeding from the bowel, black stools, new-onset constipation or diarrhea or other relevant symptoms. Many times, however, it's discovered during routine colonoscopy, which is recommended every ten years from age 50.

You may read more here:

Q. how successful is the treatment of removing the colon?

Are there any people who have had their colons removed successfullly? What other treatment options are there and how successful are they?
Acolon removal is a treatment for various situation, usually a last resort treatment...when anything else just wouldn't or couldn't work.
it's "success" as a treatment depends on the cause. i can tell you that this is the area that absorbs B12 and bile and most of the water, so expect a shortage of that three. in the water and bile case- expect watery stool...
sorry all that doesn't seem such a nice state but when Dr. come to the point they have to do it- there must be a good enough reason.

Q. Is colon cancer hereditary?

My uncle died of colon cancer and as I've been having some unexplained problems these days- of vomiting etc I'm really afraid I may have it as well. Is it hereditary? What are the first symptoms?
A1Thank you Bianca for your answers! helped a lot...this is a great site!
A2Colon cancer is usually asymptomatic, but presenting symptoms may include bleeding in the feces or from the anus, new constipation or diarrhea in adult person, obstruction of the gut etc.

You may read more here:
A3Most (85%) percent of colon cancer cases aren't hereditary. Considering that it affects 5% of the population, it's reasonable one may have a relative that suffers colon cancer even if it's not hereditary.

Take care,

Q. Colon pain means necessarily colon cancer?

I'm 22 and I'm a female. For years, I have been getting this sharp pain in my colon that comes and goes every now and then. I can say I probably experience this 12 times per year (spread out throughout the year). The pain feels like my colon is probably contracting or maybe like it's being stabbed by a knife, because it is very sharp feeling. It can come out of the blue, while I'm lying down, standing, or sitting and it stays for maximum of 5 seconds maybe. I looked up Colon Cancer symptoms on the internet and the symptom that I have is not among them, so I am really confused as to what may be happening. If this symptom may sound familiar to you can you please share with me what it may be?
A1i also get the sharp stabbing pain once in a while. i had 5 polyp's removed 2 to 3 yrs ago. i also had diverticulitus 3 times. 1st time almost killed me , cause i was ignorant on going to the doctor.the doctor said i will have colon cancer in 5 to 20 yrs. i got scared. here's what i have been doing for myself. i drink XANTHOSPLASH (from "GNC" a health food store.) $20 but goes a long way.its high in antioxidants and i eat the little reese cups (not the regular ones) to keep me from getting constipated , $9 for a 40 ounce bag. i have yet to get constipated.this works for me.its not your menstrual cycle cause i'm a guy , but see a doctor for sure.
From what you say it doesn’t sounds like colon cancer – but I would let a specialist answer that question. If the pain is 12 times a year I would have consulted a gynecologist. Sounds like it’s related to your hormone levels or menstrual cycle, you might consider ovarian cysts or other Gynecologic possibilities. It’s a shame waiting and suffering like that.
A3I’m not a doctor but as far as I know- I had a polyp removed from my colon, the pain is more constant, you have blood in your feces and the painful part is almost the “it’s too late part”. So it doesn’t sounds like cancer but it’s really not a thing you want to wait with. Go get checked.

Q. What are the Early Symptoms of Colon Cancer?

My Father is 82 years old and has been suffering from rectal bleeding lately. The doctor sent him to an urgent colonoscopy in order to rule out colon cancer. Are there early symptoms to this disease?
A1Colon cancr signs vary depending on the exact location of the tumor, for instance a lower tumor that is located in the rectum might cause rectal bleeding and one that is located in the right side of the colon might grow and cause anemia.
You can learn more about it here-
A2The problem with colon cancer, is that the early signs and symptoms of this disease are usually vague, like weight loss and fatigue. Symptoms related to the abdomen (local symptoms) such as constipation or pain usually come at a later stage, and therefore it isn't so easy to detect at an early stage. However, there are several "red flags" that should alert us- bloody or black stools or stools with mucus, rectal bleeding, new anemia in routine blood tests and changes in frequency of bowel habits. These symptoms require medical examination and further investigation.

Q. What are the Risk Factors for Developing Colon Cancer?

I was told that eating red meat increases the risk for developing colon cancer. Is that true? What other risk factors are there for developing this disease?
A1Today there are many known risk factors for developing colon cancer, some are hereditary and some are environmental. Age also plays an important role, and it is more common to develop this cancer in the age of 60 and 70. Developing colon cancer before the age of 50 is uncommon, unless there is a family history of colon cancer at a younger age, or family syndromes such as FAP or HNPCC. Among the environmental factors are smoking, drinking alcohol, high-fat diet such as in red meat, low-fiber diet (not consuming enough vegetables for example) and more.
A2The lifetime risk of developing colon cancer in the United States is about 7%. Some factors are known to increase a person's risk of developing the disease, among them are: Age over 50, family history of colon cancer, personal history of other cancers, colon polyps, smoking, consumption of alcohol and yes, even certain nutrition factors such as a diet rich with red meat and poor with fresh fruit and vegetables. In addition, there are other colon diseases that cause increased risk for the development of cancer, for instance- ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. Performing diagnostic colonoscopy every few years helps to detect the cancer at its earliest stage and is therefore recommended to specific people with known risk factors.

Q. are colon cleansing products safe and are they beneficial?

A1Unless you are having a problem with regularity I wouldn't fool around with cleansing products. Eat more fruits and vegetables and drink LOTS of water. Before I would do any colon cleansing I would add a product like metamucil or bran.
A2If you are asking about the liquid that one has to drink prior to surgery or colonoscopy, As far as I know these products are safe, and when they are being taken properly (and fully), they are beneficial.
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