Colon Cancer: What Are the Risk Factors And Symptoms

When it comes to colorectal cancer, early detection is the key to successful treatment. However, colorectal cancer is notorious for not having many symptoms – in fact, over half of the cases do not present symptoms at all.

Thus, knowing when to start screening for colorectal cancer is paramount to early cancer detection. People at higher risk should begin getting screened at an earlier age, with higher frequencies of screenings.

What are the risk factors for colorectal cancer?

To determine if you are at higher-than-average risk of colorectal cancer, these are some signs you should take note of:

  •    Family history

If you have an immediate family member who has had colorectal cancer, you are considered to be at higher risk for the cancer, as it means you likely share genetic, environmental or lifestyle factors that predispose you to it.

  •    Inherited syndromes

Some inherited conditions have been associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer. These include: Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), Lynch Syndrome, Turcot Syndrome and Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome.

  •    Diet

Studies have shown an increased risk of colorectal cancer in persons with diets high in red and processed meats. Frequent consumption of meats cooked at very high temperatures through methods like frying or grilling is also thought to be a risk contributor.

  •    Smoking

Tobacco in cigarettes contains known carcinogens that may be ingested during smoking. Thus, smokers or non-smokers with frequent exposure to cigarette smoke are reportedly at increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.

  •    Alcohol use

A meta-study found that every 10g of alcohol consumed per day gives you a 7% rise in risk of getting colorectal cancer. This is attributed to acetaldehyde, which is a chemical formed during the break down of alcohol in the body. The compound can lead to DNA damage or the formation of polyps in the colon.

  •    Age

Colorectal cancer can strike individuals of any age, but the risks are significantly higher in older persons. Over 90% of colorectal cancer cases were diagnosed in people above the age of 50.

  •    History of colorectal cancer or polyps

Persons who have had colorectal cancer previously have a higher chance of developing cancer in the colon or rectum again. Having a history of polyps – even benign or removed ones – may also increase one’s chances of getting colorectal cancer as it means there is a potential for more polyps to form.

  •    History of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

People with chronic or recurrent conditions like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, which involve the inflammation of the colon, may be at increased risk of colorectal cancer. The risk may increase according to the length of time one experiences IBD, as well as the percentage of colon affected.

  •    Obesity

Overweight or obese persons have an estimated 30% higher risk of contracting colorectal cancer than a person of healthy weight. A variety of factors may cause this, such as the tendency of obese persons to have chronic low-level inflammation, or the increased production of adipokines, which are the hormones responsible for cell growth.

What are some symptoms of colorectal cancer?

Majority of patients with colon cancer in Singapore do not show symptoms at their early stages. However, if present, these symptoms may include:

  • A permanent change in bowel movement (diarrhoea or constipation)
  • A feeling of incomplete emptying of bowels
  • Blood in stools (appearing as bright red or dark-coloured stools)
  • Bloated stomach with frequent abdominal pain
  • Rapid weight loss with for no apparent cause
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting

If you tick the boxes for having a high risk of colorectal cancer, and/or experience any unusual symptoms with your bowel system, it is best you consult your doctor or a colon cancer specialist for a medical examination. Regular screening in the form of colonoscopy is also a good measure to guard yourself against the cancer.


介绍:

对于大肠癌,及早发现是成功治疗的关键。但是,大肠癌因没有太多症状而臭名昭著-实际上,超过一半的病例根本没有症状。

因此,知道何时开始筛查大肠癌对于早期癌症检测至关重要。高危人群应从更早开始接受筛查,筛查频率更高。

大肠癌的危险因素有哪些?

要确定您的大肠癌风险是否高于平均水平,请注意以下几点:

  • 家史:

遗传基因,共享的环境因素或这些影响的组合可能会增加大肠癌的风险

您的家族史可能会决定推荐的大肠癌筛查年龄。

  • 遗传综合征:

一些遗传综合征与大肠癌的高风险相关,包括:家族性腺瘤性息肉病(FAP),遗传性非息肉大肠癌(HNPCC),林奇综合症,Turcot综合症和Peutz-Jeghers综合症。

  • 饮食:

红色和经过加工的肉类(例如牛肉,羊肉,热狗)含量高的饮食可能会增加结肠直肠癌的风险。

在非常高的温度下油炸,烧烤,烧烤或其他烹饪肉类的方法都会产生化学物质,这些化学物质也可能会增加风险。

  • 抽烟:

一些与吸烟有关的致癌物质可能会被吞下,从而可能增加患结直肠癌的风险。

  • 饮酒:

大量饮酒可能导致结直肠癌的风险增加。

  • 年龄:

尽管结直肠癌可能发生在任何年龄,但在45岁以后发展该疾病的机会可能会大大增加。

所有结直肠癌的癌症中,近95%发生在45岁以上的患者中。根据美国国家癌症研究所的数据,被诊断患有大肠癌的患者的中位年龄为68岁。

  • 大肠癌或息肉病史:

如果您以前曾患过结肠直肠癌,那么您更有可能在结肠和直肠的其他区域患上癌症,或者经历复发性癌症

如果您有息肉病史,即使它们是良性和/或已切除的,您也可能处于大肠癌的高风险中

  • 炎症性肠病(IBD)的病史:

患有IBD,包括溃疡性结肠炎和克罗恩氏病,可能会增加您患大肠癌的机会。

您经历IBD的时间越长,取决于您患结肠的数量,您的风险可能会更高。

  • 肥胖:

超重可能会增加患结直肠癌的风险。

大肠癌有哪些症状?

大肠癌的某些病例带有症状,可以帮助其检测。这些症状可能包括:

  1. 排便习惯的改变(腹泻或便秘)
  2. 感觉肠子没有完全排空
  3. 在粪便中发现血液(鲜红色或非常暗)
  4. 发现大便比平时窄
  5. 经常有腹痛或抽筋,或感到饱胀或腹胀
  6. 减肥原因不明
  7. 一直很累
  8. 恶心或呕吐

如果在大肠癌高风险框中打勾,和/或肠道系统出现任何异常症状,最好咨询医生或胃肠病医生进行医学检查。