Can Women Get Colon Cancer


Sexual Dimorphism Of The Immune System In Crc

Colon Cancer (CRC) Signs & Symptoms (& Why They Occur)

The immune system shows marked sex differences both in terms of gender and in true sexual dimorphism . There is strong evidence that sex hormones are pivotal in determining the strength of immune responses between the sexes and females benefit in combating acute inflammatory infections possibly through XX chromosome advantages to suppress inflammatory cytokines . The double X chromosome confers an expression gain to females for immune responsive gene adaptation, whereas the male Y chromosome reduces the capacity for immunogenic gene expression . The sex differences regarding the activation of certain X-linked genes involved in innate immunity and the modulation of immune responses by sex hormones point to potential advantages/disadvantages for CRC cells to evade immune destruction between the sexes The ability of females to mount a more robust immunological response to acute inflammation may be protective in the early stages of innate immune responses in CRC, however, chronic inflammation in advanced tumor progression may compromise the adaptive immune system in females and exacerbate tumor progression.

Prevention Of Colon And Rectal Cancer

The best way to prevent colorectal cancer is to stop it before it starts. First off: Dont smoke. Although people associate cigarettes with lung cancer, they are less aware of its strong connection to colorectal cancer.

Other ways to stave off colon cancer and rectal cancer include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, avoiding moderate to heavy alcohol use, and following a healthy diet that keeps red and processed meats to a minimum.

Following the recommended schedule for screening tests, such as colonoscopies, can also help doctors find and remove potentially precancerous growths called polyps. Removal of polyps detected through screening is one reason the death rate from colorectal cancer has been dropping over the past few decades.

Why Is There An Uptick

Nobody knows for sure why colorectal cancer numbers are rising in young people. Sedentary lifestyle, overweight and obesity, smoking, heavy alcohol use, low-fiber, high-fat diets or diets high in processed meats, and other environmental factors have all been associated with the disease. Family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, and conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease are also risk factors.

When someone is diagnosed with cancer at a young age, people also suspect genetics, but experts still havent been able to use genetics to explain the surge. The most common genetic condition associated with colon cancer is Lynch Syndrome, which typically involves tumors on the right side of the colon. But thats not whats causing these cases. Yale doctors are seeing a lot of young people whose colorectal cancer seems to be happening sporadically, as opposed to being caused by a particular genetic syndrome, Dr. Reddy says.

Meanwhile, researchers have been making progress in such areas as molecular tumor profiling, which analyzes DNA and other biological characteristics of tumor tissue samples. This can help determine treatment decisions.

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Have Questions About Maintaining A Healthy Colon

According to Harvard Medical Schools Harvard Womens Health Watch, the risk of colon cancer gets higher with age. In fact, they cite a figure that over 90% of cases are in people over the age of 50.

Around 140,000 Americans were diagnosed with colon cancer in 2018, with nearly 50,000 deaths as a result. Harvard Womens Health Watch says that experts believe that 60% of those deaths might have been preventable, had the individuals received adequate screening.

Its normal to have questions about colonoscopy screenings, colon cancer risks, and other colon health-related topics. Dont let those questions and concerns prevent you from scheduling an appointment. CRS specialists are prepared to answer and address them, because they are dedicated to getting you the health care you deserve so that you can live a long, full life.

CRS offers Kinder Colonoscopy, a suite of colonoscopy prep and recovery aids developed with your comfort in mind. Benefits of scheduling your colonoscopy with CRS include:

  • Faster appointmentsoften within a week
  • Opportunity to talk to your doctor beforehand, rather than meeting them the day of your procedure
  • Potentially less fasting time pre-colonoscopy
  • Fast-acting sedation to reduce post-procedure grogginess or feeling sick
  • 90% of procedures conducted on-site in our private, accredited endoscopy suites for your convenience
  • Results in 10 days or less

Symptoms Of Colon Cancer In Women

What is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in both men and women. Although it is slightly more common in men, 1 in every 24 women will be diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer at some point in her life.

What are the symptoms of colon cancer in women? Early-stage colon cancer seldom causes any clear or obvious symptoms, so it is very important to know the warning signs, such as:

  • Change in bowel habits
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
  • Abdominal pain, cramping, bloating or discomfort
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unexplained anemia

Many of these symptoms can be caused by something other cancer, such as a poor diet, a viral infection, hemorrhoids or irritable bowel syndrome. Get to know your body well so that you can report any changes in your health to your physician, particularly if any of these symptoms last longer than one month.

Take our Screening Assessment

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What Causes Colon Cancer

The cause of colon cancer is not known. However, colon cancer may develop from polyps in the colon. Polyps are not cancer, but some polyps may turn into cancer over time

Many factors can increase a persons risk for colon cancer, including diet, lifestyle, and family history. However, the most common cause of colon cancer is polyps in the colon. Polyps are growths on the lining of the colon that can become cancerous over time. Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in women, after breast and lung cancer. However, it is also one of the most preventable types of cancer. There are several steps women can take to reduce their risk of colon cancer, including getting screened regularly, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. Men and women are both at risk for colon cancer, and both sexes need to be aware of the risks and symptoms of this disease.

Colon Cancer Symptoms Vs Symptoms Related To Menstruation

Some symptoms of colon cancer may be easy to mistake for symptoms related to your menstrual cycle. For example, feeling unusually tired or lacking energy are common symptoms of premenstrual syndrome .

These are also symptoms of anemia, which you may experience if you lose a lot of blood during your menstrual period.

Likewise, abdominal cramps associated with colon cancer may be mistaken for menstrual cramps. The cramps may also be mistaken for symptoms of endometriosis.

Talk to your doctor if you regularly experience fatigue or abdominal pain thats not related to your menstrual cycle, or if youre experiencing these symptoms for the first time even if theyre aligned with your menstrual cycle.

You should also talk to your doctor if these symptoms feel different from what you normally experience around your menstrual period.

Most of the same factors that raise the risk of colon cancer for men are the same for women.

Among these risks are:

After menopause, a womans risk of all cancers increase.

While hormone replacement therapy increases the risk for some cancers, its actually associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer .

More research is still necessary, however. Discuss the pros and cons of HRT with your doctor before beginning therapy.

You may also be at for developing a kind of colon cancer called hereditary polyposis colon cancer , or Lynch syndrome, if you have a history of cancer of the endometrium and are a carrier for the MMR gene mutation.

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Prognosis For Bowel Cancer

Prognosis refers to the expected outcome of a disease. It is not possible for any doctor to predict the exact course of the disease. An individual’s prognosis depends on the type and stage of cancer, as well as their age and general health at the time of diagnosis. This information will also help your doctor to advise on the best treatment options.

Generally, the earlier bowel cancer is diagnosed, the better the outcomes.

Immunochemical Faecal Occult Blood Test

Two Arkansas women talk about their battle with colon cancer

You may have an iFOBT depending on your symptoms. The test may be used if you have abdominal pain, changes to their bowel habits, unexplained weight loss of anaemia. It is not recommended if you are bleeding from the rectum.

With the iFOBT you will take a sample of your stools at home. The sample is examined under a microscope for traces of blood which could be a sign for polyps, cancer or other bowel condition. It does not diagnose cancer but if blood is detected, your doctor will recommend a colonoscopy no more than 30 days after getting the result.

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How Is Colon Cancer Diagnosed

For adults age 50-75 who are at a risk of colon cancer of 3% or above, The American College of Physicians recommends fecal immunochemical testing or high sensitivity guaiac-based fecal occult blood testing every 2 years, a colonoscopy every 10 years, or a sigmoidoscopy every 10 years plus FIT every 2 years.

These tests are used to screen for colon cancer. Use this risk calculator to determine your own risk level.

Any polyps that are discovered can then be removed with special tools that are passed through the colonoscope. The polyps are analyzed in a lab to determine if any cancer cells are present. This part of the process is known as a biopsy.

If results from the biopsy indicate that cancer is present, additional tests or screenings may be performed:

  • A gene test may be done to help identify the exact type of cancer, because that could help guide treatment decisions.
  • A computed tomography scan of the tissue near the colon can help your doctor see if the cancer has spread.
  • Ultrasounds, which use sound waves, can create computer images of tissue in the body.

A colonoscopy is a standard screening test that both women and men should have starting at , unless you have a higher risk because of family history or another reason.

For women at increased risk for colon cancer, you doctor may recommend starting screening earlier.

There are three main types of colon cancer treatment:

Good Genes Are Nice But Joy Is Better

Screening for colorectal cancer in women before the age of 50 can significantly reduce the risk of CRC compared to those who have no endoscopic screening or decide to initiate testing at age 50, according to a new study from Massachusetts General Hospital.

These findings, published in JAMA Oncology, support recommendations from the American Cancer Society and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force over the past four years to commence screening at age 45 to address the steady increase in cases of younger-onset CRC.

Researchers found a 50 to 60 percent lower risk of CRC among women who started endoscopy screening at age 45 compared to those who had not undergone screening at all. In addition, they learned that starting screening at ages 45 to 49 resulted in a significant reduction in the populations actual cases of CRC diagnosed through age 60, compared to a strategy in which women began screening at ages 50 to 54. While the study was focused on women, Andrew Chan, a gastroenterologist and epidemiologist at MGH, and senior author of the study, suggests the same benefits likely accrue to men, though he adds further studies are needed.

The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health.

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Common Colorectal Cancer Symptoms

  • Bloody stool or rectal bleeding
  • An ongoing change in bowel habits
  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Gas or persistent abdominal discomfort
  • You feel like your bowels arent voiding completely
  • Weakness, fatigue, or unexplained weight loss

Dont wait. Talk to your doctor or contact Colon & Rectal Specialists for an appointment. Give yourself peace of mind so you can make the most out of your senior years, enjoying friends, family, and the things you love to do.

Does Hormone Replacement Therapy Make A Difference In Colon Cancer Risk

Women and Colorectal Cancer

Studies show that women who use hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, after menopause have a lower risk for colorectal cancer.

“Hormone replacement therapy helps protect women from colon cancer because the estrogen receptor is involved in DNA repair,” Dr. Maun explained. “An inability to repair defective DNA is one of the big molecular reasons why colon cancer occurs in the human body. Numerous studies have suggested that HRT does lower the risk of GI cancers, and it may also explain why colon cancer is more common in men, but the decision to start or stop HRT should not be based solely on colon cancer risk. In addition, some studies have shown that women who were on HRT and developed colon cancer were more likely to be at a more advanced stage.”

Because taking estrogen and progesterone after menopause can increase a woman’s risk of heart disease, blood clots, and lung and breast cancer, it’s not commonly recommended to take hormone replacement therapy just to lower colorectal cancer risk. If you’re considering using hormone replacement therapy, be sure to discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor.

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Treatment And Medication Options For Colon And Rectal Cancer

If you have colon cancer or rectal cancer, you will likely have surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy or some combination of these treatments.

Surgery is often the first choice for many early-stage colon cancers and most rectal cancers. During a colonoscopy, for instance, doctors remove diseased tissue using instruments passed through a colonoscope .

Radiation therapy employs X-rays or other types of radiation to destroy cancer cells.

Chemotherapy utilizes medicines that kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.

Whats more, researchers have been making important advances in the emerging field of targeted therapy drugs that attack cancer cells with unique genetic or protein targets.

Scientists are also actively investigating immunotherapy, which uses the bodys own immune system to battle cancer.Clinical studies have shown that immunotherapy drugs called checkpoint inhibitors can help a small subset of colorectal cancer patients whose tumors have specific genetic changes.

Should I Be Screened For Colon Cancer

Both the American Cancer Society and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommend starting colon cancer screening when you turn 45 if you’re at average risk for developing colon cancer. If you have a family history of colon cancer or other risk factors, the age to begin screening for colorectal cancer is even earlier.

“That doesn’t mean that people younger than the recommended screening age can’t develop cancer,” Dr. Maun said. It’s very important to engage in healthy living, listen to your body and not ignore or blow off signs and symptoms of colon cancer.”

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How Common Is Colon Cancer

Around 1 in 20 Americans will develop colon cancer or rectal cancer at some point in their lives, according to the most recent data from the National Cancer Institute .

This data also suggests that more than 1.3 million people are living with colorectal cancer.

Looking at projections for 2021, the American Cancer Society estimates that close to 105,000 new cases of colon cancer and more than 45,000 new cases of rectal cancer are diagnosed in the United States annually.

Colorectal cancer makes up about 8 percent of all new cancer cases in the country, according to the NCI.

What If You Get Colorectal Cancer

Genetic testing reveals risk of colon cancer and woman says can be lifesaving

While every case is different, the good news is that surgery for both colon and rectal cancers can be highly successfuleven for many patients with advanced disease. While the treatment depends on the extent of the cancer, most patients will need surgery to remove the affected part of the colon. Some may need additional chemotherapy and some patients with rectal cancer may need radiation therapy, too. And some patients will need a colostomy, a procedure to connect the bowel to an opening in the abdomen for stool to pass through into a disposable bag. A colostomy may be temporary or permanent, depending on the surgery and, in some cases, the patient.

Surgery for rectal cancer is more highly specialized and intricate because of the location of rectal tumorsand the importance of preserving the ability to control bowel movements. Dr. Reddy says it’s important to choose a surgeon who has done many of these procedures.

Cancer is almost like an intruder in your house. It’s that level of threat.Philana Gydricza, clinical social worker

Many patients worry about how cancer treatment will affect their appearance and sexualityespecially if they are single and hope to have a long-term relationship in their future.

Gydricza and other social workers do their best to make sure patients like this know they will be vital after treatment. We tell them they still can be very sexy and beautiful, she says.

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Can Women Get Colon Cancer

Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths for American men and women.

About 135,000 new cases are diagnosed in the United States each year. Men have a slightly higher risk of colon cancer than women, but it can occur in both genders at any age.

Many symptoms can be red flags to see your doctor right away if you notice them. But keep in mind there are colon cancers with no symptoms, so it’s essential to get checked by your health care provider even if you don’t experience any colon signs or symptoms.

Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool

Changes in bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation

A feeling that your bowel does not empty after a bowel movement

Weakness and fatigue

Weight loss for no known reason

Nausea, indigestion, or anemia

It’s crucial to note cancer symptoms may resemble other health problems. It’s best to talk with your doctor to determine the cause of these symptoms.

Other colon cancer signs include:

Unexplained weight loss

Abdominal pain

Fewer than half of newly diagnosed colorectal cancers are within the average age range . Even though colon cancer can occur at any age, according to the American Cancer Society , 80 percent of colon cancers and 90 percent of rectal cancers are found in people over 50 years old.

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