Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is cancer that develops in the tissues of the large intestine, also called the large bowel or colon. According to the American Cancer Society, over 95,000 new cases of colon cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year.

The exact cause of colon cancer is unknown, but most of these cancers begin as non-cancerous growths or polyps. Over time, polyps can become colon cancer. The most common type of colon cancer is adenocarcinoma.

Not everyone experiences colon cancer Symptoms, so it is important that men and women over age 50 have screening tests such as a colonoscopy. Colon polyps can be identified and removed during colonoscopy (polypectomy), preventing polyps from becoming colon cancer. Surgery to remove cancerous tissue is the preferred Treatment for all stages of colon cancer and can usually cure colon cancer when found early. Some patients increase their chances of being cured by receiving additional therapy, such as chemotherapy.

Factors that contribute to an increased Risk for colon cancer include:

  • Older than age 50
  • Diet high in fat
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Family history of cancer of the colon or rectum
  • Certain hereditary conditions, such as familial adenomatous polyposis and hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC; Lynch Syndrome)
  • History of colon polyps
  • History of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease)
  • History of cancer of the colon, rectum, ovary, endometrium or breast

Colon cancer often is in a more advanced stage when Symptoms present. Common Symptoms are:

  • Change in bowel habits
  • Blood in stool
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Stools narrower than usual
  • Frequent gas pains
  • Bloating
  • Cramps
  • Weight loss
  • Tiredness
  • Vomiting

Beginning at age 50, men and women should follow one of these examination schedules:

  • Fecal occult blood test or fecal immunochemical test every year
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years
  • Double-contrast barium enema every five years
  • Colonoscopy every 10 years
  • Virtual colonoscopy, a computer-assisted approach that is less invasive than traditional colonoscopy every five years

People with colorectal cancer Risk factors should begin screening procedures at an earlier age and/or be screened more often.

Proper health history, family’s history of cancer and Risk factors. Diagnostic test include many of the same exams done for people without Symptoms:

  • Digital rectal examination
  • Fecal occult blood test
  • Sigmoidoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Barium enema
  • Biopsy
  • Blood count
  • Imaging tests. Tests, such as a CT scan, PET scan, ultrasound, or MRI of the abdomen, may be done to look for tumors or other problems. These tests may also be done if colorectal cancer has already been diagnosed to help determine the extent (stage) of the cancer.

After colon cancer has been diagnosed, tests are performed to find out if cancer cells have spread within the colon or to other parts of the body.

  • Repair through the abdomen. A cut is made through the lower belly. The rectum is attached to the lower part of the backbone to support it and keep it in place.
  • Repair through the rectum.  Removes the part of the rectum that has prolapsed and reconnects the remaining parts.
  • Repair with both these methods. These 2 methods may be combined to treat your prolapse.

How is it treated?

Surgical Treatment

The segment of colon that contains cancer is surgically removed and the remaining ends of the bowel are reattached so that bowel integrity is maintained. Polypectomy This is the removal of the polyp, typically done during a colonoscopy. It does not require an incision.

  • Local excision: If cancer is found at an early stage, we puts a tube through the rectum into the colon and cuts out the cancer.
  • Resection with anastomosis: For larger cancers, a partial colectomy  (removing the cancer and a small amount of healthy tissue around it) and then will sew the remaining healthy portions of the colon together (anastomosis). Lymph nodes near the colon will be removed to determine whether they contain cancer.
  • Resection of the colon with colostomy If  unable to sew the ends of the colon back together, a stoma (an opening) is made on the outside of the body for waste to pass through. This procedure is called a colostomy. A bag is placed around the stoma to collect the waste. Sometimes the colostomy is needed only until the lower colon has healed, and then it can be reversed. If needs to remove the entire lower colon, however, the colostomy may be permanent.
  • Laparoscopically-assisted right colectomy: During this procedure, slender surgical instruments are introduced through small surgical incisions in the abdomen. Problems of the right colon and of the sigmoid colon are the best areas for the laparoscopy.

Non-Surgical Treatment

  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Cryosurgery
  • Fulguration
  • Targeted therapies

Consult with experienced Doctors

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