Monday, March 31, 2008

Corazon Aquino & Colon Cancer


I was actually shocked to discover that the former Philippine president, Cory Aquino, was announced by her daughter, Kris Aquino, a famous celebrity, that Mrs. Aquino was diagnosed with colon cancer. We know Mrs. Aquino as a living symbol of democracy as she was swept into power by a peaceful EDSA I revolution to overthrow the then President, Ferdinand Marcos. She also was the one that helped bring the current President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to power and is also ironically the one joining protests to bring President GMA down. But this time she faces a far more bigger battle, a battle for her life as she fights against colon cancer.

So what is colon cancer? To know that we must first define what cancer is.In a normal body function, rapid division and multiplication of cells are needed to regenerate and heal the body. But there are times when the growth is uncontrollable and spreads (metastasizes) into other parts of the organs where it continue to divides and replaces normally functioning cells with abnormal cells. Cancer cells multiply so fast that they may occlude blood vessels and steal blood flow by forming their own vasculature stealing normal organs their blood supply thus the organ dies. And for the people who are confused, tumors are abnormal proliferation of cells and there are two kinds of tumors, benign and malignant. Benign is non-cancerous and does not spread so it can be safely removed by surgery. The dangerous kind of tumor is a malignant tumor as it is cancerous. Even if the malignant tumor is removed, remaining cells could still multiply at a more rapid rate that is why chemotherapy (the use of medication to kill cancer cells) is also required to kill cancerous cells, but unfortunately it also kills normal cells but that would be a different topic.

I'm not sure if Mrs. Aquino's cancer is malignant or benign, but I'm guessing that it is malignant because she wouldn't have let the whole Philippines know that she had cancer. So let me share the some relevant information as to what causes colon cancer, signs and symptoms of colon cancer, what the treatment is, and what the preventions are. These are very important to know as this could save your life one day.

So what causes colon cancer? It's still unknown but it is believed that a high fat diet increases one's risk for colon cancer. Why? Breakdown of fat leads to the formation of carcinogens (cancer causing substances). Although cancer is not contagious, it is hereditary so if you have any relatives with any kind of cancer then you are at high risk for cancer.

Symptoms of colon cancer are numerous and nonspecific. They include fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, change in bowel habits, narrow stools, diarrhea or constipation, red or dark blood in stool, weight loss, abdominal pain, cramps, or bloating. Other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (spastic colon), ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, diverticulosis, and peptic ulcer disease can have symptoms that mimic colorectal cancer (from medicinenet.com).

The treatment for colon cancer, like any other cancer is surgical removal to prevent the metastsis or spread of cancer cells to other organs. But treatment does not mean that you will be treated immediately. Factors as to how much the cancer had progressed plays an important role. This is why prevention is better than treatment because one only notices that one has cancer when it is already too late when the cancer has already grown and spread causing the signs and symptoms.

Preventing cancer entails a healthy lifestyle like eating healthy avoiding fatty foods, carcinogens like charred meat, drinking too much alcohol, etc. But the best prevention is early detection. It is recommended that all individuals over the age of 40 have yearly digital examinations of the rectum and their stool tested for hidden or "occult" blood (from medicinenet.com).In a digital rectal exam a doctor inserts his finger through your anus and feels for polyps (abnormal growth). For males, a digital rectal exam is like hitting two birds with one stone as the prostate gland can also be checked for prostate cancer at the same time.

Other early detection procedures are flexible sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy. Here a video camera is inserted to see how your colon looks checking for abnormal growths and other anomalies.

For more information please visit this site: medicinenet.com
"Explore TheHeart.org for the latest Cardiology related articles on topics such as Dabigatran"

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails