Health & Disease | #03 | Are you having any features of colon cancer or are you at risk?


I am a general practitioner working in Oman. I try to be updated with the latest health news and updates. Being a member of this platform, I try to bring a few useful health information for my fellow members. Here is the third issue.


Colon cancer: Features and risk factors

Colon cancer, often termed colorectal cancer, is one of the most common cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. It is the third leading cause of death among cancer patients in the USA.

image from wikimedia common

Before the appearance of the features specific to colon cancer, some non-specific features may be found. Fatigue or lethargy, generalized weakness, low haemoglobin (due to iron deficiency anaemia), unintentional or unexplained weight loss etc. are the features that may precede years before identifiable cancer. If an above-40 person presents with these features, we should evaluate him/her.

With or without the above-mentioned features, if a middle-aged person starts experiencing a change in his/her bowel habit and it persists over a longer period, he or she needs to be evaluated. The change may go either way; diarrhoea or constipation.

Incomplete evacuation of the faeces along with persistent bloating or abdominal pain in such a person shouldn't be overlooked.

Passage of blood in the stool should be evaluated promptly. If the source of the blood is not the anal canal (e.g. due to haemorrhoids or piles), the search for the source should be started without any delay.

Any mass in the abdomen or tenderness or generalized swelling of the abdomen (due to ascites: a collection of excess fluid in the abdomen) indicates advanced stages!

Who is at risk of having colon cancer?
First and foremost, if there is a history of colon cancer in a family, other family members are at risk. It has a strong genetic influence, i.e. it runs in the family. If someone’s first degree or second-degree relatives has or had colon cancer, the person should go for the screening test when applicable.

Those who are mostly habituated with a diet rich in red and processed meat are at higher risk. Diets with low fibres, low fruits and vegetables, low folate, low calcium are found to be associated with increased colon cancer.

Increased body weight, smoking, lack of exercise and high alcohol intake are also connected with increased risk of colon cancer. Surprisingly, lean women are at increased risk of having colon cancer.

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Second dose of Astrazeneca vaccine Vs blood clotting

Following several incidents of a rare blood clot following the first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, people around the world became panicked about taking this vaccine. It was estimated that 8.1 per million vaccine receivers after the first dose had this rare syndrome where the blood clotted. However, after the second dose, the rate came down to 2.3 per million. Among unvaccinated people, this rare blood clot is also found at a similar rate. This new data will help to minimize the fear about the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The 3rd dose of the Pfizer vaccine against delta variants

A third dose of the Pfizer vaccine produced 5-times and 11-times more antibodies among the 18-55 years and 65-85 years age group, respectively. The company has recently published the data online on MedRxiv. According to the company, a third dose also offers higher protection against the original and the beta variants of the virus.

image from Pixabay

Have a look on the live COVID19 vaccine updates from Medical News Today. Above two updates are from this link.

Every day, I am being exposed to various kinds of germs including the recent coronavirus in my chamber. But, Allah has kept me healthy and alive, Alhamdulillah.

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