Rectal Cancer Symptoms and Signs
Rectal cancer is a serious condition. Oftentimes, the signs of rectal cancer may be hard to detect. This article will look at what rectal cancer is, some of the signs and symptoms of it, and ways it can be avoided.
What is Rectal Cancer?
The large intestine is made up of two parts. The first is known as the colon. This is the final stage of the digestive system that pulls nutrients out of your foods and breaks them down just before passing it on to the rectum. Small adenomatous polyps within the colon and rectum can become transformed, developing into cancer. When this happens in the rectum, it is referred to as Rectal Cancer. If these polyps develop in the colon as well, the dual condition is referred to as colorectal cancers.
Abnormal cells along the inner rectal wall, also known as adenomatous polyps, degenerate into adenocarcinomas. There are numerous varieties of adenomatous polyposis syndromes that may put you at a higher risk level for developing colorectal cancer. Generally, these conditions will run in hereditary lines. Oftentimes, a patient may become aware of these conditions before they reach the age of 40. Syndromes known to run in families are often referred to as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).
Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) is also known to run in families; however, it tends to develop without the initial polyps on the rectal wall. HNPCC is sometimes screened out through a genetic abnormality. Precancerous treatments have a much higher success rate if patients have been genetically screened for HNPCC first.
What are the symptoms of rectal cancer?
Symptoms of rectal cancer in women may be harder to detect than expected. Frequently, patients will errantly believe that their rectal bleeding is due to hemorrhoids. Rectal bleeding may also be a hidden and chronic condition. It may only appear to be an iron deficiency and not the onset of cancer. Missing these preliminary signs of rectal cancer in women may hinder an early diagnosis.
Other symptoms of rectal cancer are caused by an enlarged tumor blocking the colon. This condition may include some of the following signs of rectal cancer:
1) Abdominal distention, which is the protrusion of the belly but no weight gain.
2) Nausea and vomiting.
3) A sudden, unexplainable drop in weight.
4) A noticeable change in regular bowl movements, such as frequency and character.
5) Narrow, ribbon-like stools.
6) Feelings of an incomplete evacuation following a bowel movement.
7) Rectal pain may be experienced from a large tumor.
How do you prevent rectal cancer?
The best prevention for rectal cancer is early detection. Try to get regular screenings, fecal blood tests, sigmoidoscopies or colonoscopies, and polyp removal. Doing these things will help with early detection of rectal cancer. Some further health tips to consider for reducing your risk of rectal cancer are as follows:
1) Maintain a high fiber, low fat diet.
2) Avoid obesity.
3) Stop smoking. Better yet, don’t start.
4) Try taking 1 milligram of folic acid per day.
5) Get regular exercise.
6) Take your daily dosage of fruits and vegetables.
If you believe that you may be experiencing some of the signs or symptoms of rectal cancer, see your physician immediately. Colorectal cancers are much more common than people believe. Don’t take the risk of your symptoms being minor.
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