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The male reproductive system: colon cancer

Colon cancer is a malignant issue that begins when cells grow uncontrolled forming clusters of cells called tumors. Treatment of patients is difficult and requires qualified surgeons and medical professionals. Benign tumors are not life-threatening and can be removed if they cause discomfort. However, malignant tumors can spread to other organs through the bloodstream. Colon cancer is a serious disease that can be overcome with proper diagnosis and timely treatment.

 

The Condition

In the initial phases, colon cancer begins with polyps, which exist in the form of small mushrooms and grow on the walls of the colon. Polyps are a common occurrence in the human body, especially in adulthood. However, not all polyps lead to cancer. The physician can detect ones during the review. That is why doctors always analyze the polyps which they found during the investigation.

Risk Factors

Men and women die from colon cancer with the same rates. However, black men and black women are more at risk of morbidity than white ones. In addition, overweight and obesity enhance the risk of colon cancer. Apart from race and sex, age and genes are serious risk factors that a person cannot change. For instance, the chances of developing colon cancer increase as you get older: 90% of cases are in people over 50 (Birger & Bravo, n.d.). Relatives who suffer from colon cancer also increase the possibility of its development in other family members. Moreover, individuals with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's illness have higher chances to be exposed to colon cancer as these diseases lead to inflammation. Proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle will reduce the chance of cancer in the colon.

Causes

A person's lifestyle is often the cause of colon cancer. Alcohol is considered a factor contributing to the development of four types of cancer including colon cancer. However, the risk directly depends on the quantity of alcohol consumed. Furthermore, studies have shown that insulin dependence also contributes to the development of colon cancer. It is thought that diabetics are up to 40 percent more likely to develop colon cancer compared to people in the general population (Myers, 2017). It is worth noting that high-fat and cholesterol-based diets, especially including a lot of animal products, can lead to colon cancer. The consumption of a large number of fats can change the normal cells into the stem cells. Later, they can form tumors. However, a low-fiber diet of fruits and vegetables can also be the cause of cancer. Proper nutrition increases the chances of healthy and long life. It is known that cigarettes can damage each organ in the human body. Long-term smoking leads to the accelerated growth of polyps as well as the delivery of carcinogens to the tissues of the mucous membrane of the large intestine. All this creates a good base for cancer development.

Diagnosis

If the results of the test or symptoms indicate the development of a person's colon cancer, the doctor should determine by analysis its cause. Colonoscopy is the most common method for diagnosing this illness. To diagnose a patient, doctors use the tube attached to the camera. During the examination, any abnormal area of the colon is tested for the presence of cancer cells. The pathologist checks it using a microscope. Often abnormal tissue can be completely removed.

To diagnose colon cancer, a fecal test is also used. During the passage of stool through the intestines, rubbing against polyps can cause bleeding. The analysis reveals blood in the stool. In addition, tumors can be detected by computer tomography, which creates a 2- and 3-dimensional view of the colon. This technique is known as a virtual colonography and is an alternative to more invasive colonoscopy. After the detection of cancer, its stage should be determined. For this purpose, CT and X-ray as well as surgery are used. The diagnosis of colon cancer is crucial at the initial stages of the disease.

Symptoms

Symptoms of colon cancer are similar in nature to other illnesses. One of the signs is the blood in the stool. If a person sees blood in a toilet or toilet paper, this is an early sign of colon cancer. However, such symptoms can be related to Crohn's disease, hemorrhoids, and ulcers. Additionally, the bloody spots on the underwear may be a sign of tumor in the colon. Moreover, regular imbalances in the functioning of the intestine can become a sign of cancer. Symptoms of the lower part of the colon include constipation, diarrhea, and urinary incontinence. Total fatigue is a sign of many types of cancer as well as colon cancer. A person feels chronic fatigue and little energy because the sick cells slowly eat healthy ones. Unreasonable anemia in men can also indicate colon cancer. Losing weight without changing lifestyle and nutrition is unhealthy and suggests a disease. Among other symptoms of colon cancer, there are dyspnea, nausea, bloating, enlargement of the liver, and pain. Yet, colon cancer shows no signs and symptoms in certain cases.

Treatment

Treatment options depend on the patient and the stage of cancer. A patient with cancer in the early stages has the best chances for a favorable outcome. Surgery is among the types of treatment. For instance, at the early stages of cancer, polyps can be completely removed without further treatment. In the case of progression, surgical intervention is performed to relieve pain. Chemotherapy is an efficient method of treating cancer. Chemotherapy drugs quickly kill the cell division. Moreover, radiation is a non-target therapy, which is the standard method of cancer treatment. The radiation is applied locally to the affected area as it kills cells with high-energy radiation. Along with these approaches, targeted medicines are available for the treatment of colon cancer. For instance, Avastin is a humanized antibody that binds and inhibits a protein involved in blood vessel formation - a normal process that is also required for tumor growth (Shahian, n.d.). Some patients may take part in trials of drugs that have not yet been approved. The physician depending on the patients condition selects methods of treatment.

Side Effects of Treatment

Some methods of treatment may have the negative effects on the reproductive system. Because sperm cells split rapidly, they can be damaged by chemotherapy. In the case of damage to all cells, infertility may develop. After chemotherapy, sperm production is slowed down but may restore later. For instance, some sperm production usually returns in 1 to 4 years, but it can take up to 10 years (How Cancer Treatments Can Affect Fertility in Men, n.d.). Unfortunately, in certain cases, sperm production cannot be recovered. Moreover, high radiation drubs stem cells that form sperm.

Natural Treatments

The colon is a part of the digestive tract, and diet high in fiber reduces the chances of colon cancer. Furthermore, the use of omega-3 fatty acids, mainly in oily fish, gives greater chances for recovery. Ginger reduces inflammation in the colon. Moreover, the use of onions decreases the size and amount of precancerous lesions. Less consumption of red meat and alcohol and more fruits, vegetables, and physical activity reduce colon cancer morbidity.

Prognosis

The prognosis for the treatment of colon cancer depends on the stage of the disease. However, there are chances to cure at each stage. The first stage is curable in most cases. Furthermore, in the third stage, more than half of patients have a chance to recover. The chances of recovery depend on a timely appeal to the doctor.

Colon cancer is a hard disease that affects the colon and can lead to death. The probability of the disease depends on age, race, gender, and lifestyle. Malnutrition and smoking are among the causes of colon cancer. Treatment is the most effective at the first stages of the disease; however, it can affect the reproductive system of men.

What are the main symptoms of colon cancer?

Blood in the stool is among the signs of colon cancer. Additionally, a person can face diarrhea, dyspnea, nausea, bloating, enlargement of the liver, and pain.

What is the most common method of colon cancer diagnosis?

Among various types of diagnosis, colonoscopy is the most common. During this procedure, the doctor examines the presence of tumors in the colon with the help of camera and tubes. This method makes it possible to make the correct diagnosis and remove abnormal formations.

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Are there any natural treatments?

Treatment of colon cancer depends on the diet as many products consist of the adverse components. Oily fish, fruits, and vegetables are the right choices to treat colon cancer. Additionally, it is important to have an active lifestyle.

What is the most effective treatment in the first stages of colon cancer?

Surgery is an effective treatment in the initial stages of the disease. During this operation, polyps can be removed. In such case, further treatment is needed.

Is there any adverse effect of colon cancer treatment?

Since chemotherapy is aimed at destroying rapidly disintegrating cells, it destroys sperm cells as well. Moreover, radiation also kills such cells. Therefore, these treatments can lead to infertility in men.

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