What you need to know about colon cancer, which killed Ken Okoth

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Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that affects the large intestines. It is known to affect older adults but it can occur at any age.

The symptoms of colon cancer include; unexplained weight loss, bowel changes which include diarrhoea, constipation, experiencing fatigue or weakness in the body, persistent abdominal discomforts such as cramps or gas, blood in your stool, lumps in the breast, persistent back pain and unusual coughing.

According to The Mayo Clinic, it has been reported that doctors are not certain about the causes of colon cancer. The cancer is said to begin when healthy cells in the colon develop mutations in their DNA.

The healthy cells grow and divide in an orderly way to keep the body functioning normally. But once the cell’s DNA is damaged and is cancerous, those cells will divide, increase and form a tumour.

[Source: medicalnewstoday]

Factors that lead to the increase of colorectal cancer include;

  • Old age.
  • A personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps.
  • Inherited syndromes that increase colon cancer risk.
  • Family history of colon cancer.
  • Low-fiber diet. Studies revealed that there is an increased risk of colon cancer in people who eat diets high in red meat and processed meat.
  • Diabetes or insulin resistance.
  • Obesity.
  • Heavy consumption of alcohol.
  • Radiation therapy that is directed at the abdomen to treat previous cancers increases the risk of colon cancer.

The doctors recommend that individuals with a risk of colon cancer should consider colon cancer screening around age 50. But those with an increased risk should consider screening earlier.

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