One of the most alarming conditions that one may experience is finding blood on the tissue paper after you go to the bathroom. Many people may wonder what this problem really is all about. If you see blood on tissue paper, you should seek proper medical attention immediately in order for a doctor to investigate what the cause could be.
Some of the most common causes of blood in the stool are hemorrhoids, plus certain foods can turn the stool red, as well as fissures or minor damages in the tissues in the anal area. Aside from these, the most dangerous cause that can be associated with blood in the stool is cancer. The specific type of cancer that may be associated with blood in the stools is colon cancer. First of all, it is important that you have a clear understanding of what colon cancer is all about.
Understanding Colon Cancer
Colon cancer or what is also known as colorectal cancer is a specific type of malignancy that affects the intestines. The tumors primarily develop on the walls of the intestine and its development can be associated with many causes. Colon cancer is known to have a lot of risk factors.
First of all, genetics can play a huge role in getting colon cancer. If you have a family history of colon cancer, you are considered to be more prone to getting it. Age can also be another risk factor as colon cancer can be more evident in old age. If you have been previously diagnosed to have polyps or benign growths in the colon, you are also more prone to developing colon cancer. Lastly, people who have a history of IBD or Inflammatory Bowel Disease are also known to be more prone to malignancy.
Several laboratory and diagnostic tests can be used to properly diagnose if a person has colon cancer. Some of the most common methods used to diagnose colon cancer are barium enema, abdominal ultrasound and colonoscopy. In a barium enema, a dye is use to visualize the colon properly. With a colonoscopy, a device known as a scope with a small camera is used to visualize the entire colon.
Colon cancer can definitely be treated and there are several methods which can be used depending upon the severity of the disease. The most common treatment methods that can be used are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
You must be able to understand the colon cancer warning signs so that you can seek proper treatment immediately and prevent aggravation of the disease.
Colon Cancer Warning Signs
One of the most common warning signs of colon cancer is pain primarily focused on the abdominal area. There can be many causes associated with abdominal pain, but once it gets persistent and severe, it can be more associated with colon cancer. In malignancy, the pain can be brought about by the pressure caused by the tumors inside the intestines.
Change in Normal Bowel Consistency
Any changes in bowel movements may also be a colon cancer warning sign. Diarrhea is may be a sign of colon cancer if it is not easily relieved and it continues to persist for a longer period of time, usually for several days or weeks. The change in bowel consistency is caused by the growth of the tumors in the intestines, which can cause irritation and stimulate the colon to move bowel contents more frequently than expected.
Aside from diarrhea, constipation may also be experienced in some cases of colon cancer, especially when the tumor has already caused significant blockage in the intestines. It would be more difficult to pass out stools once the tumors have already blocked the passageway or made it too narrow.
Another colon cancer warning sign is the existence of an abdominal mass. Once you are able to feel significant hardness in your abdomen, it could possibly be a sign of colon cancer. Usually, the abdomen should feel soft, but once it feels rigid, or once you feel the presence of masses, you should seek proper consultation immediately.
Change in the Appearance of Stools
Another easily observable colon cancer warning sign is a change in the appearance of your stools. If you have noticed that your stools are a lot narrower than usual and look pencil-thin, it could possibly be a sign of colon cancer. The change in the appearance of stools happens because the tumors tend to obstruct the passageway of the bowels where the contents are eliminated. As the stools pass through the narrowed passageway, they take on a narrower shape in order to be eliminated effectively from the body.
Unexplained Weight Loss
One of the most common colon cancer warning signs is unexplained weight loss. Usually, persons with colon cancer eat less than normal because they often feel bloated and full. Aside from this, the tumors get the nutrients that the body absorbs from its normal food intake, which means the body is unable to utilize all of the nutrients that it needs to keep itself in good shape.
Aside from all the stated warning signs, iron deficiency can also be associated with patients who are diagnosed to have colon cancer due to the fact that there is bleeding. A deficiency of iron causes a problem in the blood called anemia where there are less red blood cells to carry oxygen through the blood stream.
Blood in the stools is one of the most alarming colon cancer warning signs. Bleeding can be caused by the excessive pressure that the tumors, especially larger ones, cause on the intestinal wall. Constipation experienced by persons with colon cancer can also lead to rectal bleeding as the body finds it very difficult to evacuate all bowel contents smoothly.
These are some of the most common colon cancer warning signs that the people should be more aware of. It is true that blood on the tissue paper upon a bowel movement can be a very alarming and disturbing sign that a person can possibly have colon cancer.