Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, originates in the large intestine (colon) or rectum. It is a significant cause of cancer-related mortality, yet early detection can lead to successful treatment and complete recovery. Most colon cancers begin in the lining of the colon or rectum, and factors such as age, lifestyle choices, and genetics can influence your risk.

Risk Factors for Colon Cancer

Several factors can increase your risk of developing colon cancer, including:

Age: Individuals over the age of 45 are at higher risk.
Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption may elevate the risk.
Smoking: Tobacco use is linked to an increased likelihood of colon cancer.
Obesity: Being overweight or obese contributes to the risk.
Ethnicity: African Americans and individuals of Eastern European descent are more vulnerable.
Diet: A diet high in red or processed meats and low in fiber may increase the risk.
Colorectal Polyps: The presence of polyps in the colon or rectum can elevate risk.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are associated with higher risk.
Family History: A family history of colon cancer can be a significant risk factor.

Symptoms of Colon Cancer

Recognizing the symptoms of colon cancer is crucial for early detection.

  • Abdominal pain and tenderness in the lower abdomen
  • Blood in the stool
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or changes in bowel habits
  • Narrow stools
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Exams and Tests for Colon Cancer


Screenings play a pivotal role in detecting colon cancer before symptoms manifest.

Colonoscopy: A thorough examination of the colon and rectum.
Sigmoidoscopy: Focusing on the lower portion of the colon.
Blood Tests: Assessing factors like anemia and liver function.
Tumor Marker Tests: Detecting markers such as carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) to monitor and guide treatment.

For Diagnosis and Staging

Imaging Tests: CT, MRI, and PET scans help determine the extent of cancer spread.

Treatment Options

Treatment plans are tailored to each patient’s unique circumstances and may include:

Surgery: Removing the tumor, usually by laparoscopy. In some cases of bulky tumors, the surgical resection is done by an open procedure. Also, it must be noted that in very low rectal tumors, the anal sphincter cannot be preserved for the sake of complete oncological excision, and then a definite colostomy (artificial anus) must be performed.
Chemotherapy: Administered post-surgery to target remaining cancer cells. Also, in some cases of rectal tumors, chemotherapy is administered prior to surgery (the so-called neoadjuvant therapy) in order to reduce the size of the tumor and allow for an easy operation.
Radiation Therapy: Shrinking tumors before surgical removal, particularly in rectal cancer cases.
Targeted Therapy: Disrupting cancer cell growth and spreading by targeting specific molecules.

Preventing Colon Cancer

Prevention and early detection are vital. Consider these steps to reduce your risk:

  • Regular colon cancer screening, especially after age 45.
  • Engage in physical activity and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Avoid tobacco and limit alcohol consumption.
  • Adopt a diet rich in fruits and vegetables while minimizing red and processed meats.

At Burjeel Medical City, our dedicated team is committed to providing you with the best possible care and guidance in managing and preventing colon cancer. Contact us to schedule your screenings or consultations and take proactive steps toward a healthier future.