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spiritual meaning of colon cancer

The spiritual meaning of colon cancer is rooted in how you understand the process and how you respond to it. If you struggle with feelings of fear, anger, confusion or blame this can feed your colon cancer. We often find that those with a strong spiritual practice have stronger immune systems. On the flip side, if you are living with the disease and feel that you are disconnected from your spirit and soul then the disease can easily consume you. Many people feel that their healing becomes part of their spiritual journey and this can be an incredibly powerful tool to keep you going when times are tough.

This article explores the spiritual meaning of colon cancer: its origin, the impact it can have on you, and its role in your life. We understand that cancer has a physical, mental and spiritual element: by acknowledging each one, you can continue growing with and through your experience of cancer and more on Churchgists.

Colon cancer is an insidious, deadly type of cancer that affects our colon. We all know that cancer is a disease characterized by rapid growth of abnormal cells in a particular organ in the body. Colon is one of the large intestine organs in our body responsible for important functions like digestion, absorption, and excretion. The primary function of colon is to remove water from waste products so as to make them convenient to pass out through rectum.

Colorectal cancer is a term used to describe cancerous tumors that develop in the colon or rectum. The colon is the last part of the digestive tract, and it is where fecal matter collects before being expelled from the body. The rectum is the last part of the colon and leads to the anus.

This sort of tumor can be prevented by eating healthier foods and exercising regularly. It can also be detected early with regular screenings from a doctor. If caught early enough, it can often be cured with surgery or radiation therapy. However, if left untreated for too long—or if not discovered until later stages—there are more serious consequences that can lead to death.

Colon cancer has a spiritual meaning because it represents one’s relationship with their body: how they treat themselves physically and mentally. For example, if someone has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, they may feel as though they have let themselves go physically or mentally because they did not care enough about themselves to take proper care of their health before it was too late (i.e., before they developed cancer). For example, if someone eats fast food every day instead of fruits and vegetables

Colon cancer is something that we don’t talk about a lot, but it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms. Colon cancer is treatable, but only if you catch it early enough.

Colon cancer begins when cells in your colon change and grow out of control. Most often, this happens because of damage to DNA in the cells, either from aging or from our environment—like smoking or exposure to chemicals found in pesticides and other products that can cause cancer.

The most important thing you can do to protect yourself is eat a healthy diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans (legumes), lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products. You should also limit sugar and salt intake as much as possible; drink plenty of water each day; exercise regularly; get plenty of rest at night; avoid too much stress in your life; avoid smoking or secondhand smoke at all costs; avoid alcohol abuse; take any medications prescribed by your doctor exactly as directed on the label; see your doctor regularly for checkups so they can keep an eye on any changes that might indicate colon cancer is present somewhere inside your body.

spiritual meaning of colon cancer

Colon cancer is a type of cancer that starts in your colon (large intestine) or rectum. Your colon and rectum are the organs that make up the lower portion of your digestive system.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, colon cancer — also known as colorectal cancer — is the third most common type of cancer in the United States when certain common skin cancers are excluded. In fact, the American Cancer Society (ACS)Trusted Source estimates that about 1 in 23 men and 1 in 25 women will develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime.

The symptoms, treatment, and outlook for colon cancer will generally depend on the stage your cancer is in when you’re first diagnosed.

Learn more about colon cancer stages, causes, and risk factors — plus resources to help you find support.

Stages of colon cancer

Doctors use staging as a general guideline to figure out how far along the cancer is. It’s important for a doctor to know the stage of the cancer because it helps determine the best treatment plan for you. It’s also a good way to estimate your long-term outlook.

Stage 0 colon cancer is the earliest stage, and stage 4 is the most advanced stage. Here’s how the stages are defined:

  • Stage 0. Also known as carcinoma in situ, in this stage abnormal cells are only in the inner lining of the colon or rectum.
  • Stage 1. The cancer has penetrated the lining, or mucosa, of the colon or rectum and may have grown into the muscle layer. It hasn’t spread to nearby lymph nodes or to other parts of the body.
  • Stage 2. The cancer has spread to the walls of the colon or rectum, or through the walls to nearby tissues, but hasn’t affected the lymph nodes.
  • Stage 3. The cancer has moved to the lymph nodes but not to other parts of the body.
  • Stage 4. The cancer has spread to other distant organs, such as the liver or lungs.

What are the symptoms of colon cancer?

You might not experience colon cancer symptoms at all, especially in the early stages. If you do experience symptoms in stages 0 through 2, they’ll often include:

  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • changes in stool color
  • changes in stool shape, such as narrowed stool
  • blood in the stool
  • bleeding from the rectum
  • excessive gas
  • abdominal cramps
  • abdominal pain

Many of these symptoms can also be caused by other, less serious, conditions. However, it’s a good idea to see a doctor if you’ve had any of these symptoms for longer than a week or two. You and your doctor can talk about your symptoms and decide if colon cancer screening is appropriate.

Stage 3 or 4 symptoms (late-stage symptoms)

Colon cancer symptoms are more noticeable in stages 3 and 4. In addition to the above symptoms, you might also experience:

  • excessive fatigue
  • unexplained weakness
  • unintentional weight loss
  • changes in your stool that last longer than a month
  • a feeling that your bowels won’t completely empty
  • vomiting

If colon cancer spreads to other parts of your body, you may also experience:

  • jaundice, or yellow eyes and skin
  • swelling in the hands or feet
  • breathing difficulties
  • chronic headaches
  • blurry vision
  • bone fractures

Symptoms by stage

Stage 1 symptomsStage 2 symptomsStage 3 symptomsStage 4 symptoms
constipationconstipationexcessive fatiguejaundice
diarrheadiarrheaunexplained weaknessswollen hands and feet
changes in stool color or shapechanges in stool color or shapeunintentional weight lossbreathing difficulties
blood in stoolblood in stoolchanges in stool that last longer than a monthchronic headaches
bleeding from rectumbleeding from rectuma feeling that your bowels won’t completely emptyblurry vision
excessive gasexcessive gasvomitingbone fractures
abdominal crampsabdominal cramps
abdominal painabdominal pain

Are there different types of colon cancer?

It might surprise you to learn that there is more than one type of colon cancer. There are different types of cells that turn cancerous and there are cells in different parts of the digestive tract that can lead to colon cancer.

The most common type of colon cancer starts from adenocarcinomas. Adenocarcinomas form within the cells that make mucus in either the colon or rectum. According to the ACSTrusted Source, adenocarcinomas make up most colon cancer cases.

Less commonly, colon cancers are caused by other types of tumors, such as:

  • lymphomas, which can form in lymph nodes or in the colon first
  • carcinoids, which start in hormone-making cells within your intestines
  • sarcomas, which form in soft tissues such as muscles in the colon
  • gastrointestinal stromal tumors, which can start off as benign and then become cancerous (They usually form in the digestive tract, but rarely in the colon.)

What causes colon cancer?

Researchers are still studying the causes of colon cancer.

Cancer may be caused by genetic mutations that can either be inherited or acquired. These mutations don’t guarantee you’ll develop colon cancer, but they do increase your chances.

Some mutations may cause abnormal cells to accumulate in the lining of the colon, forming polyps. These are small, benign growths. However, untreated polyps can become cancerous. Removing these growths through surgery can be a preventive measure.

What are the risk factors for colon cancer?

There are some risk factors that can increase your chances of developing colon cancer. Having one of these risk factors doesn’t automatically mean you’ll get colon cancer, but it does make it more likely than if you had no risk factors.

Risk factors you can’t change

Some factors that increase your risk of developing colon cancer can’t be changed. For instance, your age, ethnicity, and family health history can all impact your risk of colon cancer.

Risk factors you can’t control include:

  • being over 50
  • a prior history of colon polyps
  • a prior history of bowel diseases
  • a family history of colorectal cancer
  • having certain genetic syndromes, such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
  • being of African or Ashkenazi Jewish descent

Risk factors you can avoid

Other risk factors are avoidable. This means you can change them to decrease your risk of developing colon cancer. Avoidable risk factors include:

  • being overweight or having obesity
  • being a smoker
  • being a heavy drinker
  • having type 2 diabetes
  • having a sedentary lifestyle
  • consuming a diet high in processed meats

How is colon cancer diagnosed?

An early diagnosis of colon cancer gives you the best chance of curing it. Since colon cancer often has no symptoms during the early stages, it is often caught during routine screenings.

The US Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF) and the ACSTrusted Source now recommend colon cancer screening starting at 45, in light of younger people getting diagnosed with colon cancer.

The American College of Gastroenterology recommends that people start colon cancer screening at 40 years old.

Your doctor will start by getting information about your medical and family history. They’ll also perform a physical exam. They may press on your abdomen or perform a rectal exam to determine whether lumps or polyps are present.

Fecal testing

The ACSTrusted Source recommends yearly fecal testing. Fecal tests are used to detect hidden blood in your stool. There are two main types, the guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT) and the fecal immunochemical test (FIT).

Guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT)

Guaiac is a plant-based substance used to coat a special card that your stool sample is placed upon. If any blood is present in your stool, the card will change color.

You’ll have to avoid certain foods and medications, such as red meat and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), before this test. They may interfere with your test results.

Fecal immunochemical test (FIT)

The FIT detects hemoglobin, a protein found in the blood. It’s considered more precise than the guaiac-based test.

That’s because the FIT is unlikely to detect bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract (a type of bleeding that is rarely caused by colorectal cancer). Additionally, the results of this test aren’t affected by foods and medications.

At-home tests

Because multiple stool samples are needed for these tests, your doctor will likely provide you with test kits to use at home.

You can also buy at-home test kits from companies such as LetsGetChecked and Everlywell.

These kits often require you to send a stool sample off to a lab for evaluation. Your test results should be available online within 5 business days. Afterward, you’ll have the option to consult with a medical care team about your test results.

The Second Generation FIT can also be purchased online, but the stool sample doesn’t have to be sent to a lab. Test results are available within 5 minutes. This test is accurate, FDA-approved, and able to detect additional conditions such as colitis. However, there’s no medical care team to consult with if you have questions about your results.

Blood tests

Your doctor may run blood tests to get a better idea of what’s causing your symptoms. Liver function tests and complete blood counts can rule out other diseases and disorders.

Sigmoidoscopy

Minimally invasive, sigmoidoscopy allows your doctor to examine your sigmoid colon, the last section of your colon, for abnormalities. The procedure, also known as flexible sigmoidoscopy, involves a flexible tube with a light on it.

The USPSTF recommends a flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, or every 10 years along with a yearly FIT test.

The ACSTrusted Source recommends a flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years.

Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy involves the use of a long tube with a small camera attached. This procedure allows your doctor to see inside your colon and rectum to check for anything unusual. It’s usually performed after less invasive screening tests indicate that you might have colon cancer.

During a colonoscopy, your doctor can also remove tissue from abnormal areas. These tissue samples can then be sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Out of the existing diagnostic methods, sigmoidoscopies and colonoscopies are the most effective at detecting benign growths that may develop into colon cancer.

The USPSTF and the ACSTrusted Source recommend a colonoscopy every 10 years.

X-ray

Your doctor may order an X-ray using a contrast solution that contains the chemical element barium.

Your doctor inserts this liquid into your bowels through the use of a barium enema. Once in place, the barium solution coats the lining of the colon. This helps improve the quality of the X-ray images.

CT scan

CT scans provide your doctor with a detailed image of your colon. A CT scan that’s used to diagnose colon cancer is sometimes called a virtual colonoscopy.

Products to try

At-home tests can be used to detect blood in the stool, an important symptom of colon cancer. Shop for them online:

  • LetsGetChecked Colon Cancer Screening Test
  • Everlywell FIT Colon Cancer Screening Test
  • Second Generation FIT (Fecal Immunochemical Test)

What are the treatment options for colon cancer?

Treatment of colon cancer depends on a variety of factors. A doctor will determine the best treatment plan for you based on your overall health and the stage of your colon cancer.

Surgery

In the earliest stages of colon cancer, it’s often possible for your surgeon to remove cancerous polyps through surgery. If the polyp hasn’t attached to the wall of the bowels, you’ll likely have an excellent outlook.

Your surgeon may need to remove a portion of the colon or rectum and the neighboring lymph nodes If your cancer has spread into your bowel walls. Your surgeon might be able to reattach the remaining healthy portion of the colon to the rectum. If this isn’t possible, they may perform a colostomy. This involves creating an opening in the abdominal wall for the removal of waste. A colostomy may be temporary or permanent.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. For people with colon cancer, chemotherapy commonly takes place after surgery and is used to destroy lingering cancerous cells. Chemotherapy also controls the growth of tumors.

Chemotherapy drugs used to treat colon cancer include:

  • capecitabine (Xeloda)
  • fluorouracil
  • oxaliplatin (Eloxatin)
  • irinotecan (Camptosar)

Chemotherapy often comes with side effects that need to be controlled with additional medication.

Radiation

Radiation uses a powerful beam of energy, similar to that used in X-rays, to target and destroy cancerous cells before and after surgery. Radiation therapy commonly occurs alongside chemotherapy.

Other medications

Targeted therapies and immunotherapies may also be recommended. Drugs that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat colon cancer include:

  • bevacizumab (Avastin)
  • ramucirumab (Cyramza)
  • ziv-aflibercept (Zaltrap)
  • cetuximab (Erbitux)
  • panitumumab (Vectibix)
  • regorafenib (Stivarga)
  • pembrolizumab (Keytruda)
  • nivolumab (Opdivo)
  • ipilimumab (Yervoy)

They can treat metastatic, or late-stage, colon cancer that doesn’t respond to other types of treatment and has spread to other parts of the body.

What’s the outlook for people with colon cancer?

It can be alarming and stressful to get a serious diagnosis like colon cancer. Fortunately, colon cancer is treatable, especially when detected early. In fact, according to the ACS, colon cancer that’s diagnosed before it has spread past the colon and rectum has a 91 percent 5-year survival rateTrusted Source. Additionally, these survival rates are based on data from 2010 to 2016. New cancer treatments have led to increasingly improved outcomes in more recent years.

However, colon cancer cases have also risen among younger people in recent years. According to the ACSTrusted Source, while colon cancer deaths declined in older adults, deaths in people younger than 50 years old increased between 2008 and 2017.

Colon cancer stage at diagnosisSurvival rate
Stage 0 and Stage 191%
Stage 2 and Stage 372%
Stage 414%
Overall63%

Can colon cancer be prevented?

Certain risk factors for colon cancer, such as family history and age, aren’t preventable.

However, lifestyle factors that may contribute to colon cancer are preventable, and changing them might help lower your overall risk of developing this disease.

You can take steps now to reduce your risk by:

  • decreasing the amount of red meat you eat
  • avoiding processed meats, such as hot dogs and deli meats
  • eating more plant-based foods
  • decreasing dietary fat
  • exercising daily
  • losing weight, if your doctor recommends it
  • quitting smoking
  • reducing alcohol consumption
  • decreasing stress
  • managing preexisting diabetes

Another preventive measure? Getting a colonoscopy or other cancer screening when you turn 45 years old. The earlier the cancer is detected, the better the outcome.

Next steps

Surgery is often the first step in treating colon cancer. Your next steps will depend on how you respond to surgery and what further treatments you need.

No matter what happens on your treatment journey, you’ll need support along the way. It’s important to talk to your medical team and loved ones and to feel comfortable reaching out for help. Check out the resources below to start building a support system.

  • The Colorectal Cancer Alliance Helpline (877-422-2030) is a free service that can connect you to resources and peer support.
  • The Colorectal Cancer support group live chatmeets every weekday between 12 pm and 1 pm EST.
  • Blue Hope Nation is a supportive Facebook group for colon cancer patients and famiy members.
  • CancerCare offers a Colorectal Cancer Patient Support Group led by an oncology social worker.
  • Fight Colorectal Cancer offers a resource library for people with colon cancer including videos, podcasts, and more to support you through treatment and beyond.

spiritual meaning of colon problems

Healing the cause of digestive problems begins with understanding the spiritual cause of why it first originated.  What we may not be totally aware of is how digestive challenges were triggered way before the food hit the stomach.

The thought or memory of certain foods can trigger a reaction in our digestive system.  Positively, our mouth can water at the thought of something delicious.  This can be very obvious with some dogs, such as Labradors.

Memories of really delicious food can also create reactions.  The thought of lemons can stimulate the salivary glands.  On the negative side, the sight of food that we hate may make the stomach heave with disgust.

According to  Michael J. Lincoln (FKA Narayan-Singh Khalsa) in his book ‘Messages From The Body’ difficulty with the salivary glands reflects a problem in assimilating new experiences and ideas, together with breaking things down into “bite-size pieces”.

There can be some ‘mental constipation’, together with a resistance to change.  As regards to the mouth, Louise L. Hay in ‘Heal Your Body’ states that the mouth represents taking in new ideas and nourishment.

The emotions around the organs of digestion, absorption and elimination

When food reaches the stomach, feelings that are common in disrupting the operation of the stomach are needs that cannot be met; disgust, feeling deprived and angry, disappointment, and constant worry (the stomach meridian is paired with the spleen meridian which represents obsessive worry).

As the food journeys down two streams of digestive fluids, one stream of bile is created by the liver, which has been stored in the gallbladder and released in response to food on the way down to the small intestine (duodenum).

The liver is one of the major filtering and detoxifying organs.  It helps process viruses and pathogens, physical and emotional.  It holds a great deal of repressed anger, depression, lack of will to live and putting others first.

The gallbladder stores many of the feelings which turn into bitterness and resentment.  To remove the gallbladder does not remove the feelings.  Therefore the feelings are, very often, expressed in another part of the body.

Similar feelings can arise in the pancreas, which is there as one of its tasks to aid digestion.  When malfunctioning, it is storing emotional pain and refusing to enjoy.

The small intestine relates to the assimilation of nutrients.  One may eat the right food, but be unable to assimilate.  The same applies to life. There will be a lack of joy, sorrow and sadness.  The learning experience can be blocked, together with an indecisiveness.

Louise L. Hay states that the probable cause is “disowning the right to live, insecure and fearful of love, together with an inability to digest”. Diarrhoea is when the body rejects unassimilated nutrients.  On a mental and emotional level there is a premature rejection of ideas and situations and reject of anything that causes emotional discomfort.

Between the small intestine and the large intestine lies the Ileocecal valve.  This is a sphincter which opens and closes like a camera lens allowing the contents of the small intestine out into the large intestine and then closing in order to prevent the contents backing up.

However, should the valve stick open or closed, it can result in self-poisoning, affecting many of the bodily systems; abdominal pain, allergies, bloating, chest pain, constipation, dark circles under the eyes, diarrhoea, emotional stress, gut flora disturbance, headaches, indigestion, joint pain, lower back pain, migraine, shoulder, elbow pain, skin problems, stiff neck, and tinnitus.

The programs that trigger a sticking Ileocecal valve are poisoning oneself emotionally, holding on to old patterns in a rigid and self-destructive manner, refusing to let go of the past and deeply hidden bitterness.

The large intestine is the last stage of digestion before elimination and if there is any holding on to things that are no longer needed, constipation can arise.  This can result in a strong need to control.  There can be a degree of guilt and lack of self-worth.


IMPORTANT TO NOTE:  The information above is only a small representation of the many metaphysical or spiritual causes of digestive problems.  I offer them to you in the hope that you may realise that your present circumstances, need not be your future ones.  If you would like to begin to re-empower yourself, then I can help you speed up the process. 

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