Does Colon Cancer Affect Eye Sight?

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As the name implies, colon cancer is a primary cancerous tumor that starts growing in the colon (large intestine). It is different than secondary colon cancer (cancer that has started elsewhere in the body and spread to colon). The worst thing is when it gets worse and spread to other parts of the body (metastasis). But does it affect eye sight, too?

Common complications of colon cancer

It and rectal cancer (cancer of rectum) is often referred to as colorectal /bowel cancer. It is a common cause of death related to cancer in some countries, including in the U.S.

Interestingly, it usually grows slowly which means there should be plenty of times to treat or even cure it. Unfortunately, many patients are often diagnosed at advanced stages of the disease. This may be the reason of why the mortality rate from this disease is high.

It usually doesn’t cause symptoms at its early stages, when the treatment is most likely to work and it is much easier to treat. Even if you have some of the symptoms, these symptoms can be vogue (see more in here).

The exact cause of the disease is not known. Experts believe that there is no single cause. Instead, it is likely to occur due to the combination of some different factors. For more information of how it starts out, see this section!

Bowel obstruction is one of common complications. It occurs when the growth of cancerous tumor in the colon is large enough to narrow the diameter of colon. The obstruction can partial or complete.

Partial obstruction means the contents of the intestine pass the colon more difficult. Complete blockage means the content cannot pass at all – this can be an emergency condition.

image_illustration360Other possible complications include:

  1. Cancer that has been treated and removed may return. The successful rate of the treatment is dependent on several factors. But in general, the stage of the disease can significantly have an effect for the outlook and prognosis of patient. See more this issue in this post!
  2. If left untreated, cancer will gets worse and spread to other parts of the body (especially such as other organs in the digestive system, liver, and lungs).
  3. There is also a chance for patient to develop a second primary cancer in the colon.

Colon cancer can affect eye sight, how?

There is a chance for colon cancer to cause an effect on the eye sight for several reasons.

The following are some helpful explanations!

Metastasis of colon cancer

It is very rare to spread to eyes. In its metastatic stages, it is likely to spread to liver (mostly) and lungs (2nd common place where it spreads). So, it is less likely to affect the eyes with this way.

The size of cancerous tumor

Over time it grows and can be large enough & put more pressure to organs close to the affected colon (such as bladder, prostate, and kidneys) – but this way usually doesn’t affect the eyes since they are far away from colon.

How about anemia?

As well we know that certain type of anemia may cause eye problems such as disturbed vision – particularly true if this anemia is caused by lack of vitamin B12 or folate.

But anemia associated with colon cancer is usually iron deficiency anemia (see more in this article). This kind of anemia rarely causes eye problems. Therefore, it seems that colon cancer is also less likely to affect the eye sight with this way.


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