A Deadly Cancer For Men To Be Aware Of In Their Senior Years

Health & Medical Blog

Colon cancer is a slow-growing disease that can overwhelm your system before you have any symptoms. This is the second leading cancer-related death and is seen more often in men than women. If you're a man, here is what you need to know about this deadly disease and how to prevent it from sneaking up on you.

Colorectal Cancer Basics

This cancer favors the large intestine and colon. It starts as a small tissue growth, called a polyp, on the inside of the wall of the large intestine. This tissue grows very slowly and often posses no problems. Some of these polyps, however, change and become malignant cancer cells that, if left untreated, can migrate to all of your internal organs.

Colorectal Cancer Symptoms

Many people experience no symptoms as these cancerous tissues grow and spread throughout the large intestine. When symptoms do occur, they may include:

  • diarrhea that worsens
  • bloody stools
  • black stools
  • abdominal pain

If you notice any changes in your bowel routine or the appearance of your stools, contact your doctor, even if you have no other symptoms.

The Cause is Unknown

Researchers don't know the precise cause of this disease and what triggers some polyps to become cancerous. Doctors do know that there are several factors that can increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer such as:

  • Aging - Nearly 90 percent of colorectal cancer cases appear after men turn 50.
  • Family history - If a family member has had this cancer, your risk increases.
  • Chronic bowel disease - If you develop a bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's, you're at a higher risk.

Some lifestyle choices increase the risk of this cancer including:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Fatty diet
  • Excess alcohol

Screening for Colorectal Cancer

Your doctor will schedule a colonoscopy, which is a way to directly observe the inside wall of your large intestine and colon. They will look for polyps, especially the ones that have changed appearance. They can also take small tissue samples from the intestinal wall to analyze for cancerous cells. This will help them identify the malignant from the benign tissue. 


It's important to get a regular screening for polyps. They can be removed, which takes away the threat of a malignant cancer developing. If the disease has advanced before you get a colonoscopy through a company like Northwest Gastroenterology Associates, there may be too many polyps to remove and the doctors will have to remove a part of the intestine. Along with surgery, your doctor may recommend chemotherapy to kill any cancerous cells they didn't remove.

Preventing this cancer from taking hold is the best option. Ask your doctor how often your should have a colonoscopy to stay ahead of this disease. 


12 August 2015

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