Colon Cancer

What is Colon

The large intestine is known as colon. It is that location in the body where salt and water is extracted from solid wastes. This waste travels from the colon or the large intestine to the rectum and moves out of body through anus.

What is Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is the development of cancer in the the large intestine. In many cases colon cancer or in other words, intestinal cancer is accompanied by rectal cancer. Rectal cancer develops close to anus; in the last few inches of the large intestine. This area is known as rectum. When cancer cells develop in both colon as well as the rectum, it is known as colorectal cancer.

Colon Cancer Causes

Body cells follow an organized process of growth, division and dying out. Cancer develops when cells grow and divide outside the normal pattern. A tumor like growth in the large intestine leads to colon cancer. Most of the colon cancer develops from benign or noncancerous tumors which are known as adenomatous polyps. These polyps get formed on large intestine’s inner walls. When the tumors get malignant they spread to the other parts of the body through lymph systems and blood. Metasis is a process when the cancer cells from the tumors grow and invade the nearby healthy tissue. After this, the cancer becomes severe in nature.

Risk Factors

  • Age - As the age increases, the risk of colon cancer increases in an individual. In more than 90% of the cases it gets diagnosed after 50 years of age.
  • Race - In comparison to people of other races, African Americans have greater chance of developing the disease.
  • Family History – Genetic background of a person increases the risk of colon cancer. If there is a first degree relative who has suffered from the disease before the age of 55, then there are strong chances that one is in risk of developing the same condition.
  • Diet - Fatty diet leads to the disease.
  • Diabetes can be a cause.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease like Crohon’s disease or ulcerative colitis can also cause colon cancer.
  • A hormone disorder called acromegaly can lead to colon cancer.
  • Radiation treatment of other type of cancers can also result in cancer in the colon.

Colon / Intestinal Cancer Symptoms

Most of the time there is no symptom at the earlier stage of the disease. As the cancer advances in stage, the following symptoms start getting evident:

  • Narrow and loose stools
  • Blood in the stool
  • Pain in the abdomen, bloating, gas or cramps
  • Changes in consistency of stool
  • Constant urge to defecate
  • Pain during movement of bowel
  • Sudden weight loss
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • fatigue
  • Deficiency in Iron
  • IBS- Irritable Bowel Syndrome

There may be other symptoms too, if the cancer has spread to the other areas in the body. When one suffers from colon cancer, there are high chances of the liver getting affected.

Diagnosis

Examination of the entire body and enquiry about personal as well as family medical history will be done by the physician to correctly diagnose the disease. Following are two significant diagnosis methods:

Barium enema x-ray: A liquid called barium is used to get clearer results than the normal x ray.

Colonoscopy : A long flexible tube with a camera at one of the ends is inserted inside the rectum for the purpose of inspection. Patient might have to follow a special diet for 24-48 hours before this procedure.

Colon Cancer Treatment

Type of cancer, health status and age of the patient determines the treatment that would be required. Treatment is either one or a combination of measures like chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery.

Chemotherapy

The process of administering chemicals to get rid of cancerous cells is known as chemotherapy. In this process not only the cancerous cells but also the healthy cells get targeted. Cancer cells do not survive after the chemically induced damage but the healthy cells recover back.

Since the medicine administered through chemotherapy travels to the whole body, chemotherapy is a remedy to cure cancer that has spread to other parts of the body as well. Chemotherapy takes place in a cycle, thus providing the body, enough chance to heal between the doses of medicines that get administered.

Chemotherapy side effects

  • Hair loss
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

There are many Chemotherapy drug options. These drugs can be grouped on the basis of their chemical structure, how they work and their reaction with other drugs. Some drugs might belong to more than one group.

Surgery

The cancerous area in the colon is removed through surgery. Sometimes the surrounding area of the colon also needs to be removed if the cancer has spread to those areas. The lymph nodes which are nearby also get removed if they get affected. The remaining healthy area of the colon is either attached to a stoma or to the rectum. If the patient has undergone colorectal surgery (surgery of colon as well as the rectum), it means that a stoma will have to be created. Stoma is an opening on the abdomen wall. After colorectal cancer surgery, colostomy is done so that the waste from the body passes into a bag as the waste is not possible to be excreted from the rectum.

Different types of surgeries are done depending upon the stage of the cancer. Endoscopy is done to remove small, localized cancers.

For larger polyps, laparoscopic surgery comprising of many small sized abdominal incisions is done. If the cancer is at an advanced stage or is untreatable, then palliative surgery is done. This surgery helps in relieving symptoms or relieving blockage of the colon that manages pain and bleeding along with the symptoms.

Radiation Therapy

 

Radiation therapy can either be a standalone treatment of cancer or form a part of different therapies applied for a cancer treatment. Radiation means focus of high energy gamma-rays on the cancer cells with a purpose to damage it. The gamma rays are emitted from high energy x-rays or metals like radium. This therapy is used when cancer is at a very advanced stage. Radiation is applied when rectal cancer has traveled to the lymph nodes that are nearby or when the cancer has penetrated the rectum wall.

Radiation Therapy Side effects:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Changes in skin resembling suntan or sun burn

If the treatment has been successful, most of the side effects get resolved within a few weeks.

Herbal Treatments

Cancer herbalists provide treatment options by use of nature’s gift that is present in abundance. These are cost-effective measures but might take lots of time, patience and extreme faith by patients to solely depend on them for getting cured. Carrot is considered to be a very effective cancer cure herb. Juice of carrot is advised to cancer patients. Soursop is also considered an effective cancer remedy. Cauliflower, mango and litchi are considered to have cancer prevention properties.

Prevention

Standard preventive measures are:

  • Regular exercise
  • Healthy weight
  • Consumption of plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • The decrease in red meat intake and saturated fat
  • Abstinence from smoking and alcoholism

Jiyo India ensures that best oncologist and surgeons in India are at your service during your colon cancer treatment process. Before making the decision regarding the hospital and oncologist, you would also be able to compare surgery, radiation and chemotherapy costs of various top cancer treatment hospitals. All you need to do is to call +91- 8527583838 and talk to experts for FREE.