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Colon Cancer - Know The Causes & Treatment Of It!

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - General Surgery, Surgical Registrar
Surgical Oncology, Mumbai
Colon Cancer - Know The Causes & Treatment Of It!
Cancer in colon forms due to uncontrolled cell growth in the large intestine cells. Most colon cancers originate from the healthy cells in the lining of the colon that grow into tumors called adenomatous polyps. These polyps can be cancerous or benign.

A cancerous tumor is malignant and may spread to the other parts of the body by traveling through blood and lymph systems, this process is known as metastasis. Whereas a benign tumor can grow but don t necessarily spread to other parts of the body.

It takes years for these changes to develop depending upon both genetic and environmental causes.

Causes and risk factors:
In a healthy body, the cells normally grow, divide and then die. Cancer is the result of uncontrollable cell growth where the cells do not die. Aging is one of the important risk factors for colon cancer; other risk factors include a family history of colon cancer. As per Johns LE and Houlston RS, individuals with a family history of colon cancer have a high risk of developing this form of cancer as compared to those with no such history.

A study conducted by Giovannucci and others in 1995, successfully established the relation between physical activity, obesity and colon cancer. As per the research lack of physical activities elevates the chance of getting colon cancer. Individuals who regularly smoke, are obese and use aspirin have a higher risk of developing this form of cancer. Diet is also an important factor, diets that are high in fat and low in fiber may elevate the risk.

Symptoms:
The symptoms of colon cancer are varied, depending upon the condition of the tumor. At the early stage, patients may experience no symptoms. However, as cancer grows, symptoms arise. Diarrhea or constipation are common; patients may see changes in stool consistency and narrower stool. Abdominal discomfort, bloating, fullness and cramps may also indicate colon cancer. Sudden weight loss and unexplained iron deficiency (anemia) are also associated with this form of cancer. If these symptoms last for several weeks, don t hesitate to consult your physician.

Treatment:
Colon cancer is highly treatable and depends on the type and the stage of cancer along with health and other characteristics of the patient. However, there is no single treatment; the most common options are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The surgery for colon cancer is known as colectomy and involves removing the affected part of the colon and the adjoining areas including nearby lymph nodes.

Chemotherapy involves killing the cancer cells by utilizing certain chemicals that interfere with the cell division process and damage the proteins or DNA. In the radiation therapy, high-energy gamma rays are used to target and destroy the cancer cells. Radiotherapy can be used both as a standalone treatment and also along with other treatments

What Triggers Colon Cancer And Treatment Of It? - Know In Depth About It!

MBBS, MS - General Surgery, MCh Surgical oncology, FMAS.Laparoscopy, FAIS
Oncologist, Bangalore
What Triggers Colon Cancer And Treatment Of It? - Know In Depth About It!
Diarrhea and constipation and common digestive ailments but if these persist for over 4 weeks, it could be a sign of colon cancer. Colon cancer refers, to a type of cancer that affects the lower half of the digestive system and the large intestines. In most cases, this type of cancer begins in the form of small adenomatous polyps. However, with time, these polyps turn cancerous.

As mentioned above a change in bowel movements is one of the main signs of colon cancer. Some of the other common symptoms include:

Blood in the stool
Cramps or pain in the abdomen
Weakness
Unexplained weight loss
A feeling of not having completely emptied your bowel
The symptoms of colon cancer vary according to the stage of cancer. In its early stages, many patients may not recognize any symptoms. Symptoms also depend on the location of the cancer tumor.

Colon cancer can affect men and women but elderly people are considered at a higher risk for this disease as compared to others. For this reason screening for colon cancer is considered part of a routine health checkup for people over the age of 50. Certain genetic syndromes can also increase a person s risk of colon cancer. Additionally, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, low fiber diet, smoking and alcohol consumption can also increase the risk of colon cancer.

Colon cancer can be treated. Treatment depends largely on the stage of cancer. There are 4 stages of colon cancer.

Stage I: In this stage, cancer would have grown through the lining of the colon but is restricted to being within the rectum and colon wall.
Stage II: Here, cancer grows past the colon walls but does not yet spread to the lymph nodes.
Stage III: At this stage, cancer can be detected in the lymph nodes surrounding the colon and large intestines
Stage IV: This is an advanced stage of cancer where it would have begun to affect other organs such as the lungs and liver.
Treatment for colon cancer typically takes three forms; surgery, chemotherapy or radiation.

In the case of early-stage colon cancer, minimally invasive surgery may be suggested to remove the polyps and resection the colon walls. If it has turned invasive, a partial colectomy may be performed or an artificial route for waste matter may be created. In most cases, surgery will be followed by chemotherapy or radiation to kill the remaining cancer cells.
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Hi, I need your advice on latest development in colon cancer treatment in india. My sister has been diagnosed of colon cancer stage 2 she has been seeing blood in her stool for the last 3 months. The doctor advised her to undergo surgery so that, he can remove the affected part and then join the unaffected parts of the colon. Could you please share information on immunotherapy and its indications. Is it available in india? Is there other treatment options? Thank you.

C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
Apac biotech pvt. Ltd. Is a leading biotechnology company in india involved in research and manufacturing of dendritic cell-based immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer. Immunotherapy is a fairly new way to fight colorectal cancer. Many of these treatments are still in clinical trials.
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Diagnosing Colorectal Cancer!

MCh - Surgical Gastroenterology/G.I. Surgery, MS - General Surgery, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Surgical Gastroenterologist, Delhi
Diagnosing Colorectal Cancer!
If someone has symptoms and signs of colon or rectal cancer, the doctor will suggest these tests for making the diagnosis.

Faecal immunochemical test for occult blood: this test is done on stool. It is used mostly as a screening test.
Colonoscopy: it is a procedure in which a flexible thin tube with a camera is passed and colon is seen from inside.
Biopsy: if any abnormality is seen on colonoscopy then a tiny bit of it is taken and examined under a microscope.
Serum CEA: CEA is a tumour marker, which can be elevated in colorectal cancer.
Stay alert! stay healthy!
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Rectal Cancer - Know Forms Of It!

MS ( General Surgery)
Oncologist, Mandsaur
Rectal Cancer - Know Forms Of It!
Rectal cancer is the growth of cancerous cells in the rectum, which is the colon s lower part of the colon, connecting the large bowel and the anus. The basic function of the rectum is to collect the stool that is formed inside the human body before it is eliminated from the body. Cancer starts as a polyp, which is precancerous, and slowly develops and turns cancerous. This cancer will start spreading and penetrates into the walls of the rectum causing rectal cancer.

Surgery is the most common treatment available for rectal cancer. Depending on the location of cancer and the type of cancer, there are different types of rectal cancer surgeries available. One of the important things that are considered before deciding which kind of surgery is required is the location of the tumor from the anus.

Types of Surgeries for Rectal Cancer:
Here are different types of surgeries available for different stages of rectal cancer.

Low Anterior Resection Surgery: When cancer or the tumor is located above the anus, then low anterior resection surgery is the best surgery. Rectal cancer, adjoining rectal tissues and the lymph nodes are removed. This surgery is done by making an incision in the lower part of the abdomen. This surgery is used for stage 1 cancer.
Abdominoperineal Resection Surgery: Abdominoperineal resection surgery is preferred when the tumor is close to the anus. It can be used for treating stage 1 cancer and also can be used for stage II and stage III as well. Rectal cancer, the anus, adjusting rectal tissues and the lymph nodes are removed.
Local transanal resection: When the cancer is in its early stage and is not far from the anus, your surgeon will opt for local transanal resection surgery. Usually, the tumor has to be small for performing this surgery.
Proctectomy with colo-anal anastomosis: You may have to remove the entire rectum if the tumor is present in the middle or lower part of the rectum. This is usually in stage II or stage III. This kind of situation requires proctectomy with colo-anal anastomosis.
Transanal endoscopic microsurgery: When the tumor is above the rectum and is in its early stage, transanal endoscopic microsurgery is the best method. But for performing this surgery, experts with special equipment are required.
Pelvic exenteration: When rectal cancer starts growing to the organs near to rectum, pelvic exenteration is required. This is a time consuming major surgery. Usually, along with the rectum, other organs such as the bladder, uterus or prostate is also removed. The patient will take months to recover from this major surgery.
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Laparoscopic Colon Cancer Surgeries!

MBBS, DNB, FNB - Minimal Access Surgery, Fellowship in Robotic and Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery (FRLCRS)
General Surgeon, Noida
Laparoscopic Colon Cancer Surgeries!
Cancer, in any form, is a deadly disease that requires immediate attention and treatment. Colon cancer is a common form of the disease, with over 10 lakh people reportedly affected in India each year.

In some cases, surgery is the only remedy for colon cancer. Depending on the progression of your cancer, if surgery becomes necessary, you should consider undergoing laparoscopic surgeries.

What is a laparoscopic surgery?

While most surgeries are open, where a large incision is made on the body to operate on the internal organs and tissues, it s not the same with laparoscopic surgery. Here very small incisions are made on a particular body part to carry out the surgery. The procedure gets its name from the equipment used in the operation. A laparoscope is a tube-like instrument that has a camera on one end. During the surgery, this laparoscope is inserted in the patient s body and the image relayed back by the camera is used to perform the surgery.

In case of laparoscopic colon cancer surgeries, the surgeon uses the same method to reach your the cancerous mass in your colon and remove it.

Why choose laparoscopic colon cancer surgeries?

As a person affected by cancer, you have already endured substantial pain and discomfort. You do not need additional discomfort from your surgery. This is why laparoscopic surgeries are so popular when it comes to colon cancer. Here are some benefits of the procedure over the standard surgery.

Less pain after the surgery
Limited stay at the hospital post surgery
Allows you to return to a solid food diet sooner after the surgery
Allows normal bowel function to resume quicker
Less scaring from the procedure
Faster return to a normal lifestyle

Not everyone is eligible for open surgery to treat colon cancer. For instance, open surgery on elderly people can be extremely dangerous. For them, laparoscopic surgeries are a better alternative.

Are you eligible for laparoscopic surgery?

Before you opt for laparoscopic surgery to treat your colon cancer, consult an expert. The surgeon will help you understand whether you meet the requirements for laparoscopic surgeries. Your doctor will evaluate your case and let you know which procedure will have the maximum impact on your long-term recovery from cancer.

Is laparoscopic surgery as effective in treating colon cancer as open surgery?

According to a study performed by a Canadian team of researchers, the laparoscopic procedure is just as useful in treating colon cancer as the standard surgery. However, each case of colon cancer is different and the outcome of surgery may vary from person to person.
2224 people found this helpful

Colon Cancer - Signs You Should Never Ignore!

MBBS, DNB ( Radiation Oncology), Fellowship in Uro Oncology, Fellowship in Brachytherapy
Oncologist, Mumbai
Colon Cancer - Signs You Should Never Ignore!
Colon cancer is believed to be one of the common types of cancer affecting people. As the name suggests, here, the point of origin of the cancer is the colon or the large intestine. Though colon cancer can affect anyone, people with unhealthy lifestyle (sedentary) and habits (excess smoking and consumption of alcohol), obesity, certain medical conditions like diabetes, or exposed to radiations (radiation therapy) are at a greater risk of colon cancer. Colon cancer may also be hereditary.

Colon cancer usually proceeds through five stages, stage 0 (zero), stage I, II, III and IV.

In stage 0, cancer remains in situ, (it remains confined within the innermost layer of the colon).
In stage I, cancer slowly starts spreading to the other layers (second and third) of the inner walls of the colon.
In stage II, cancer spreads further to the muscular walls of the colon (the lymph nodes, are, however, still not affected by this condition).
In stage III, cancer spreads outside the colon, affecting one or more lymph nodes.
Stage IV is more severe and metastatic. Here cancer has spread to and affected vital organs like the liver and the lungs.
Many of the symptoms do not appear at the initial stages. As a result, colon cancer mostly gets detected at a later (often metastatic) stage. Thus, a person should be alert. The initial symptoms, no matter how trivial, should be taken seriously. There is no harm in seeking medical help. It will only help you in the long run.

The following symptoms are often the initial or first signs of something as big as colon cancer:

Unexplained poor appetite followed by sudden and rapid weight loss. Losing weight at an alarming rate without sweating it out needs thorough investigation. More than often, colon cancer interferes with the digestion process in a person. A person is not able to eat well. There is a feeling of being full (irrespective of how much you eat) all the time.
Constipation, gas or (and) diarrhea. Often overlooked and mistaken for common bowel disorder, these are some of the initial symptoms of colon cancer. The symptoms may be an outcome of polyps (abnormal tissue growths that can take place in any organs. These polyps are mostly benign in nature) or malignant tumors in the colon. Seek medical help if the conditions persist for more than a week. It is better to be safe than to be sorry.
A person feels exhausted, sleepy and weak all the time. The symptom may be an outcome of iron deficiency and anemia. Colon cancer can cause injury to the digestive tract. There may be bleeding followed by blood loss and hence the associated symptoms.
Mild to severe abdominal pain. The abdomen also appears tender than usual (in the case of metastatic tumor).
Stomach upset accompanied by pain, nausea, vomiting, cramps and at times, indigestion (an outcome of intestinal obstruction and inflammation).
There may be blood while passing stool.
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Colorectal Cancers - Every Important Detail About Them!

MBBS, DNB, FNB - Minimal Access Surgery, Fellowship in Robotic and Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery (FRLCRS)
General Surgeon, Noida
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The lower part of the digestive system is known as the large intestine (colon), and colon cancer is the name given to the type of cancer that affects it. The rectal cancer is the cancer that affects the last few inches of the colon. Collectively they are known as colorectal cancers. In most of the cases, small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps are formed in the intestine.
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Can Chronic Constipation Lead To Colon Polyps?

MS (Shalya) General Surgery, Diploma in Proctology, BAMS, Masters in Minimally Invasive Proctology
Proctologist, Mumbai
Can Chronic Constipation Lead To Colon Polyps?
Constipation refers to infrequent, painful bowel movements that are hard to pass. It is a common digestive issue, affecting about 22% of Indians. Although constipation is likely to affect all age groups, elderly people above age 65 suffer the most.

A person is said to have constipation under the following conditions

Fewer than three bowel movements in a week

Trouble passing stools

Having dry, hard, unusually large stools The reasons why people get constipation include a poor diet that lacks fibre and fluids, inadequate exercise, and stress.

A person with constipation might experience the following symptoms

Bloating

Pain or strain during a bowel movement

Bouts of blood in the stool

Fortunately, constipation is avoidable and curable on most occasions. However, some of the symptoms may be an indication of a more severe condition that calls for immediate medical attention. One such condition is colon polyps.

What are colon polyps?

Colon polyps show up as small clusters of cells in the lining of the colon wall. These develop when there is a loss of control in the way cells grow and divide. Environmental factors, poor diet, genetics and others contribute to the loss of control.

Colon polyps are characterized by symptoms such as pain, rectal bleeding, change in bowel movement, change in colour of stools etc.

The link between Chronic Constipation and Colon Polyps

Doctors suggest, your diet has a lot to do with constipation leading to colon polyps. Constipation results from not eating enough fibre-rich foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and consuming foods that are high in fats (red meat, eggs, dairy) instead.

In constipation, the colon muscles contract too slow or sluggishly, making it difficult for the stool to pass smoothly through the colon. Chronic constipation that lasts for more than a week may be an indication of colon polyps. A large colon polyp that blocks your bowel can further induce unbearable abdominal pain and cramps.

Although colon polyps are usually benign, on rare occasions, they can later lead to cancer of the colon.

Doctors recommend eating a healthy diet that incorporates calcium, fibre, and vitamin D, as it will help you heal from chronic constipation and lower your risk of developing colon polyps. Nevertheless, consult a proctologist and seek treatment if the problem persists despite following a balanced diet.

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Colonoscopy - Know Utility Of It!

MS - General Surgery, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
General Surgeon, Kolkata
Colonoscopy - Know Utility Of It!
Colonoscopy is a testing method that helps a doctor to witness the inner lining of the large intestine. A thin tube known as the colonoscope is used to perform this test. The distinct advantage of this test is the fact that unlike another test, a colonoscopy gives a full view of the rectum and the full colon. This procedure is often used by doctors to eradicate polyps and perform a biopsy.

Detection and eradication of polyps-A polyp size, which has a diameter of more than 1 cm call for a full examination of the colon. Although many doctors suggest colonoscopy with a polyp that is less than 1 cm due to the presence of cancer cells present in preexisting polyps. Colonoscopy is preferred over other tests due to their unique ability to distinguish between malignant and benign structures. It is also very effective in searching for lesions and effectively brings out samples to perform a biopsy.

The case of bowel resection: For patients who are suffering from colon cancer and needs a bowel resection should have a colonoscopy done. This is all the more true for patients who have already undergone bowel removal surgery. While many authorities suggest that patients of this nature should undergo colonoscopy every year, other authorities believe that a colonoscopy in every 3 years serves the purpose.
Cancer in the family: Individuals having a history of adenomatous polyposis are often recommended to under colonoscopy once in every 12 months. The testing should start at the age of 12 and go up to 35 years. Post this screening can happen after every 3 years. Patients suffering from hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer should also go for a yearly colonoscopy from the age of 10 years until the age of 40 years.
Managing IBD: Patients suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) should get a colonoscopy done to better manage the disease. Colonoscopy is considered to be more effective than barium enema in comprehending the extent of the inflammation process. Colonoscopy can further distinguish between Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis where clinical and radiologic study fails.
Detecting and treating acute bleeding: Colonoscopy can successfully trace the site of bleeding for patients suffering from lower gastrointestinal bleeding. It is also believed to have a therapeutic intervention. Correctly determining the bleeding source is one key advantage of colonoscopy. If it fails, the doctor might suggest for an angiography.
Colon decompression: When an intestine twists in the cecum or sigmoid colon, it results in bowel obstruction and can compound to ischemia. This condition is known as a volvulus. Some common symptoms of this disease include nausea, abdominal pain, and obstipation. Typically the surgical procedure is necessary to arrest this situation. Colonoscopy is used in decompressing the colon.
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