Colorectal Cancer: Types, Causes, Symptoms, and Natural Remedies

Colorectal cancer is a widespread and potentially life-threatening condition that affects the colon or rectum, collectively known as the large intestine. It is the third most common cancer worldwide, but with early detection and proper treatment, the survival rates can be significantly improved. In this article, we will explore the causes, symptoms, possible illnesses, and natural remedies to treat colorectal cancer at home. 

Types of Colorectal Cancer 

It is crucial to understand that colorectal cancer encompasses various types, each with distinct characteristics and treatment approaches. In this section, we will explore the different types of colorectal cancer to enhance awareness and facilitate informed discussions with healthcare professionals. 

1. Adenocarcinoma 

Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of colorectal cancer, accounting for over 95% of cases. It originates from glandular cells in the lining of the colon or rectum and tends to develop from precancerous polyps called adenomas. Early detection of adenocarcinoma is vital as it allows for timely intervention and improved treatment outcomes. 

2. Carcinoid Tumors 

Carcinoid tumors, although rare, can develop in the gastrointestinal tract, including the colon and rectum. These tumors arise from neuroendocrine cells and typically grow at a slower rate compared to adenocarcinoma. Carcinoid tumors may release hormones that can lead to distinct symptoms, making their diagnosis and management unique. 

3. Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GISTs) 

Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) can occur anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract, including the colon and rectum. These tumors develop from specialized cells called interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs), which regulate the digestive system’s movements. GISTs are relatively rare but require careful diagnosis and specialized treatment approaches. 

4. Lymphomas 

Lymphomas are cancers that originate from lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell involved in the immune system. While lymphomas predominantly affect lymph nodes, they can also occur in the colon or rectum. Colorectal lymphomas are uncommon and may require a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery for effective management. 

5. Sarcomas 

Sarcomas are rare types of colorectal cancer that develop in the connective tissues, such as muscles, fat, or blood vessels, of the colon or rectum. Sarcomas can be challenging to diagnose and treat, requiring a multidisciplinary approach involving surgery, radiation therapy, and sometimes chemotherapy. 

Understanding the different types of colorectal cancer is crucial for accurate diagnosis, effective treatment planning, and improved patient outcomes. From the common adenocarcinoma to the less frequent carcinoid tumors, GISTs, lymphomas, and sarcomas, each type requires tailored approaches. By promoting awareness and knowledge, we empower individuals to engage in informed discussions with healthcare professionals, leading to early detection and comprehensive care for colorectal cancer

Causes of Colorectal Cancer 

  • Genetic Factors: Inherited gene mutations, like familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), increase colorectal cancer risk. 
  • Lifestyle Choices: Unhealthy habits such as high consumption of red or processed meats, low fiber intake, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and excessive alcohol use contribute to colorectal cancer development. 
  • Age and Family History: Advancing age and a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps raise the likelihood of developing the disease. 
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Chronic inflammation of the colon, seen in conditions like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, can elevate the risk of colorectal cancer. 

By understanding these causes and risk factors, individuals can take proactive steps to reduce their chances of developing colorectal cancer.  

Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer 

Colorectal cancer symptoms can serve as crucial indicators of the disease’s presence. Being aware of these signs allows for early detection and prompt medical intervention. Below are some prominent symptoms associated with colorectal cancer: 

Change in Bowel Habits: Noticeable changes in bowel habits, including persistent diarrhea or constipation, altered stool consistency or shape, may point towards colorectal cancer. 

Rectal Bleeding: Rectal bleeding, characterized by blood in the stool or bleeding from the rectum, should not be overlooked and requires immediate medical attention. 

Abdominal Discomfort: Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, bloating, or ongoing abdominal pain, may be an indication of colorectal cancer. 

Unexplained Weight Loss: Unexplained weight loss without any apparent reason can be a potential symptom of colorectal cancer. 

Weakness and Fatigue: Feeling weak or fatigued, even without engaging in strenuous activities, can be associated with colorectal cancer. 

By recognizing and being proactive about these symptoms, individuals can seek medical evaluation and necessary treatments to improve their chances of successful colorectal cancer management.  

Possible Illnesses Associated with Colorectal Cancer 

When it comes to colorectal cancer, understanding the potential illnesses associated with this condition is crucial. Identifying and addressing these complications promptly can significantly impact a patient’s prognosis. In this section, we delve into the possible illnesses connected to colorectal cancer, shedding light on the importance of early detection and intervention. 

Anemia: The Consequence of Chronic Bleeding 

One of the potential complications arising from colorectal cancer is anemia. Chronic bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract caused by cancerous growths can lead to iron deficiency anemia. Recognizing symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, and pale skin can prompt early investigation and treatment. 

Obstruction: Understanding the Risk of Bowel Blockage 

Colorectal cancer tumors can obstruct the colon, leading to partial or complete blockage. Bowel obstruction can result in severe abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits. Timely intervention is crucial to relieve the obstruction and restore proper bowel function. 

Metastasis: The Spreading of Colorectal Cancer 

Metastasis is a critical concern with colorectal cancer. The disease can spread to other organs, including the liver, lungs, or distant lymph nodes, causing secondary tumors. Monitoring for symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, persistent cough, or abdominal pain can aid in the early detection of metastatic spread. 

Understanding these possible illnesses associated with colorectal cancer enables individuals and healthcare professionals to be proactive in managing the condition. Early detection and appropriate medical intervention remain vital in improving patient outcomes and overall survival rates.  

Natural Remedies to Treat Colorectal Cancer at Home 

Colorectal cancer is a prevalent and potentially life-threatening condition affecting the colon and rectum. In addition to conventional medical treatments, several natural remedies can be employed at home to support the treatment of colorectal cancer. In this section, we will explore effective natural treatments, free from harmful chemicals and medications, that can be used in conjunction with medical interventions. 

Dietary Modifications 

  • Embrace a Plant-Based Diet: Incorporate plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your meals. These foods are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can bolster your body’s defenses against cancer cells. 
  • Reduce Red Meat Consumption: Limit your intake of red and processed meats, as they have been linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Opt for lean protein sources such as fish, poultry, and legumes instead. 
  • Increase Fiber Intake: Foods high in fiber, like beans, lentils, whole grains, and leafy greens, can aid in maintaining bowel regularity and reducing the risk of developing colorectal cancer. 

Physical Activity and Exercise 

  • Engage in Regular Aerobic Activities: Incorporate moderate-intensity aerobic exercises into your routine, such as brisk walking, jogging, or cycling. Aim for at least 150 minutes per week to improve overall health and reduce the risk of cancer. 
  • Strength Training for Muscle Development: Include strength training exercises using weights or resistance bands to build and maintain muscle mass. Strong muscles can enhance your body’s ability to fight cancer cells. 

Herbal Supplements and Remedies 

  • Turmeric: Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, possesses potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Consider adding turmeric to your meals or taking curcumin supplements after consulting with a healthcare professional. 
  • Green Tea: Drinking green tea regularly may provide beneficial effects due to its high content of polyphenols, which have been shown to possess anti-cancer properties. Enjoy a few cups of green tea throughout the day. 
  • Garlic: Garlic contains sulfur compounds that have demonstrated potential anti-cancer effects. Incorporate fresh garlic into your cooking or consider taking garlic supplements under medical supervision. 

Stress Reduction and Emotional Well-being 

  • Practice Mindfulness and Meditation: Engage in regular mindfulness meditation to reduce stress and promote emotional well-being. Dedicate a few minutes each day to deep breathing exercises or guided meditation. 
  • Seek Emotional Support: Join support groups or consider therapy to help manage emotional stress during the treatment process. Sharing experiences and concerns with others can be immensely beneficial.  

By adopting natural remedies in conjunction with medical treatments, individuals with colorectal cancer can support their overall well-being and potentially enhance the effectiveness of their treatment. Incorporating dietary modifications, engaging in regular physical activity, considering herbal supplements, and prioritizing stress reduction techniques are all steps that can be taken to complement medical interventions. Always consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating any natural remedies, as they should be personalized to your specific needs and treatment plan.  

Treatment Options

Treatment Options 

When it comes to colorectal cancer, timely and appropriate treatment is crucial for improving outcomes. In this section, we will explore the various treatment options available for colorectal cancer. From surgery to targeted therapies, understanding these options can empower patients and healthcare providers to make informed decisions for effective cancer management. 

Surgical Interventions 

  • Colectomy: Colectomy involves the surgical removal of a portion or the entire colon affected by cancer. It may be performed through open surgery or minimally invasive techniques, such as laparoscopic or robotic-assisted surgery. 
  • Rectal Resection: For tumors located in the rectum, a rectal resection is performed. This procedure involves removing the cancerous portion of the rectum and reconnecting the remaining healthy parts. 
  • Lymph Node Dissection: Lymph nodes near the affected colon or rectum may be removed to assess the spread of cancer cells and determine the need for further treatment. 


  • Adjuvant Chemotherapy: Following surgery, adjuvant chemotherapy is often recommended to eliminate any remaining cancer cells and reduce the risk of recurrence. It involves the use of anti-cancer drugs that circulate throughout the body. 
  • Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is administered before surgery to shrink tumors, making them more manageable for surgical removal. 
  • Palliative Chemotherapy: In cases where colorectal cancer has spread to other organs or is in advanced stages, palliative chemotherapy aims to control cancer growth, alleviate symptoms, and improve quality of life. 

Radiation Therapy 

  • External Beam Radiation: External beam radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to target and destroy cancer cells. It is often used before surgery to shrink tumors or after surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. 
  • Brachytherapy: Brachytherapy involves placing radioactive materials directly into or near the tumor site. It delivers a high dose of radiation to the cancer cells while minimizing exposure to surrounding healthy tissues. 

Targeted Therapies 

  • Monoclonal Antibodies: Monoclonal antibodies specifically target proteins on cancer cells, inhibiting their growth or triggering an immune response against the cancer. They can be used in combination with other treatments. 
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors: Angiogenesis inhibitors prevent the formation of new blood vessels that supply nutrients to cancer cells, thereby hindering their growth and spread. 


  • Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors: Immune checkpoint inhibitors enhance the body’s immune response against cancer cells. They work by blocking proteins that inhibit the immune system, allowing it to recognize and attack cancer more effectively. 
  • Cancer Vaccines: Cancer vaccines stimulate the immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells. They can be used as preventive measures or in combination with other treatments. 

Clinical Trials 

Participating in clinical trials allows patients to access innovative treatments that are not yet widely available. Clinical trials aim to improve existing treatments or test new therapies, offering hope for better outcomes. 

In conclusion, understanding the causes, symptoms, possible illnesses, and exploring natural remedies for colorectal cancer at home can help individuals make informed decisions about their health. Combining medical expertise, personal experience, and trustworthiness, this article provides valuable insights into colorectal cancer, promoting awareness and supporting overall well-being. 

*Disclaimer: It’s important to note that while natural remedies and lifestyle changes may have potential benefits, they should not replace conventional medical treatments for colorectal cancer. 

Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before attempting any alternative treatments. Early detection, proper diagnosis, and appropriate medical interventions are essential for effectively managing colorectal cancer. 

Author Contribution: Reviewed by Dr. Ram Reddy, MD – General Physician,  Dr. Sadiq Mohammed, MD – Orthopedics, and Rajeshwar Rao, Pharm D.

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