Cancer occurs when cells in the body uncontrollably mutate and grow abnormally. Colon cancer is an abnormal growth of colon or GI tract cells. The degree of progress cancer has spread throughout the GI system determines its stage. Proper treatment and accurate staging are needed to predict outcome accurately.
There were an estimated 105,000 colon cancer diagnoses in 2020, at a rate of about 50 new cases daily. Most of the new cases are adults over 50, but about 10 % will be younger. About 4.5% of men will develop colon cancer (or colorectal cancer when it extends further into the intestines) in a lifetime. About 4% of women will be diagnosed. Age, sex, and race all play a role in risk expectancy.
Colon cancer facts
Risk factors for colon cancer include older age. The most susceptible race to colon cancer development is African American. Other diseases of the GI system, like ulcerative colitis, can increase your risk. Heredity plays a significant role as well. A fatty diet and a sedentary lifestyle increase your risk. Obesity, smoking, alcohol, and diabetes all play a role in increasing your risk.
Symptoms of colon cancer can include:
- Bowel habit changes like constipation or diarrhea
- Blood in your bowel movements
- Cramps and bloating
- Sudden weight loss
Some people in the early stage of colon cancer have no symptoms at all.
Colon cancer and back pain
Back pain is rarely related to cancer. However, with colon, rectal, and ovarian cancer, it is possible to have lower back pain. The back pain that can occur with cancer does not seem to worsen with movement. It may continue even after PT or other treatments. It may hurt at night or early morning and then dissipates. It may also occur with tingling, weakness, or numbness in the legs and arms.
Colon cancer and abdominal pain
Abdominal pain with colon cancer may come from colorectal polyps. Symptoms include abdominal aches and pains or cramps that will not subside. The pain or discomfort is accompanied by bloating and irritation from eating. This can lead to a decrease in appetite and weight loss. It may also be accompanied by changes in your bowel movements with pain but no blood. You must regularly see your doctor if you are at high risk for developing colon cancer, especially if it runs in your family. You should also see your doctor soon if you have any symptoms, including abnormal lower back or abdominal pain. Your doctor will examine your abdomen and anal area to ensure you have no lumps. You may also have a blood test or a series of visual diagnostic tests or scans for a proper diagnosis. NVSCC cancer centers in Las Vegas treat several cancers, including colon and colorectal cancer. We provide comprehensive testing to assess your cancer risk and full testing and treatments to help you remain as healthy as possible.