Brazilian three time world cup winner Pele has been released from hospital in Brazil just in time for the holidays. The soccer legend was being treated for colon cancer. This is great news as he is one of the world’s beloved sports figures. He is considered one of the greatest players of all time along with Maradona and Cryuff. Today I want to talk about colon cancer ,what it really is all about the whole nine yards. To put it simply cancers are really cells gone rogue. In the process of growth, they divide and multiply in a controlled manner. This is because they have inbuilt “programs” in them called DNA which tell them when to do so. When these are damaged, he cells grow out if control. The unneeded cells form clumps called tumors which start pushing against neighboring tissue.

Colon cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the large intestines, the last part of the digestive system. Normally bit starts off as asymptomatic, small clumps which develop into bigger ones. These are very hard to detect so regular screening is needed so they can be removed on time. The symptoms to watch out for are, diarrhea, constipation, bleeding of the rectum (sometimes colon is affected together with rectum), bloody stool, abdomenal pain, fatigue and constant need to use the restroom for number 2. Who should watch out for colon cancer? Well, if you are of advanced age typically 50 years or older (although it is also possible for younger persons to get it) you should regularly get screened. If you are African American(it is common amongst this group statistically), have suffered from intestinal issues such as ulcers, had a family member who has suffered from colon cancer, high taker of alcohol , heavy smoker and obese , you are considered high risk for developing it.

Treatment of colon cancers are there but prevention is more the key. Having a diet of fruits and vegetables, low alcohol intake and quiting smoking definitely helps. In smoking it is the Tar that is carcinogenic (cancer causing) rather than the nicotine. Maintaining a healthy weight and some meds prescribed by the doc also help. These meds are usually for the higher risk persons. When colon cancer is diagnosed it is more likely that the doctor will order radiation therapy in combination with some drugs. Surgery and chemotherapy are typically used for the advanced stages of the cancer. So don’t hesitate to see your doctor and get screened NOW.