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Colon Cancer: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Colon cancer better known in the name of colorectal or bowel cancer that signifies the growth of cancer cells in parts like colon, rectum or appendix. This cancer is widely common in both male and female resulting in more about 655,000 death in a year. Generally, people above 40 are vulnerable to colon cancer. Strangely, around 70 to 80 percent of the colon cancer has its growth without involving any major risk factor. The disease is indeed dreadful and murderous with least chances of survival if diagnosed at the last stage.

Colon cancer can be divided into various types. The most common variation of colon cancer that originates from the glands is Adenocarcinomas that results in 90 to 95 percent of the total colon cancer patients over the world. Leiomyosarcomas is a type of colon cancer that initiates in the muscles of the colon. This is rare and comprises of 2or 3 percent of the total colon cancer. On the other hand, Lymphomas are sort of colon cancer that is diagnosed to initiate in the rectum and not in the colon. This is said to have evolved in a different part of the body and got spread to the colon. Even Melanomas is nearly similar to Lymphomas as it occupies the same characteristics of getting started at a different area or organ in the body and end up spreading to the colon. Neuroendocrine tumours are colon cancers that include two different types namely aggressive and indolent.

To figure out the cause of colon cancer, the age of a person is the primary concern. More the age, more increases the risk of being affected by colon cancer. Another burning cause of colon cancer is when the mother or father in the family has suffered from colon cancer, the chances for other members of the family increase to a higher level. Even diet very high in fat and less consumption of fibre might result in colon cancer.

Symptoms of colon cancer are numerous. However, if you are experiencing tremendous weakness, fatigue, shorter breath, black stool or abnormal weight loss, consulting a doctor is essential.

How is the treatment done?

Consulting a colon or rectal surgeon for treatment is the best. The doctor will primarily perform a clinical evaluation on the details provided on the medical history of the patient and physical examination that would include a digital rectal test. Further, the doctor will ask the patient to undergo several tests like sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy. Even the doctor may ask you to get some blood test done in order to a detailed picture of the condition of kidney and the liver.

When the doctor is sure that the patient has cancerous growth, the next step is to evaluate the stage of colon cancer on of the patient. There are four stages of colon cancer. The 1st stage indicates the growth of cancer in the superficial lining of the colon but has not crossed the colon or the rectum walls. While the stage II signifies that cancer has been successful in passing through the colon walls but did not spread to the lymph nodes situated nearby. Stage III situation is when cancer has emerged through the lymph nodes and is quickly spreading throughout the body. Stage IV or the last stage of colon cancer is when cancer has spread and affected other organs like lungs and the liver.

For patients who get diagnosed at the first stage of cancer, the doctor generally conducts minimal surgery that results in complete recovery. Polyps can be removed during the process of colonoscopy while endoscopic mucosal resection and laparoscopic surgery are also conducted according to the condition of the patient. On the other hand, if cancer has spread through the colon, treatment process conducted is called partial colectomy. In this process, the doctor eliminates the part having cancer from the colon. Even removal or lymph nodes is one of the treatment procedure adopted by the doctor.

For patients experiencing the last stage of colon cancer, surgeries are often conducted by the doctor in order to relieve symptoms like bleeding and pain. However, thereafter chemotherapy and radiation therapy are provided to the patient to kill the cancer cells.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

People experiencing unusual symptoms that indicate the presence of cancer in the colon or the rectum are eligible for the treatment. However, the treatment also depends on the cancer stage of the patient.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

People not having any cancer growth in the body are not eligible for the treatment.

Are there any side effects?

On being diagnosed at the primary stage, colon cancer is treated with minimal surgery. In such cases, side effects are limited to drug related effects post the surgery.

However, in case of patients who undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy, side effects are huge. Side effects of chemotherapy include severe mouth sores, sudden hair loss, drastic fall of appetite, diarrhoea, fatigue and increase in vulnerability to infection and experiencing easy bleeding and bruising.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Treatment for the different stage of colon cancer varies in accordance with the severity of the condition. But some of the factors remain indifferent for patients on completion of their treatment procedure. A low diet is to be maintained for at least 6 weeks post the treatment. You should take small meals many times in a day rather than having 3 major meals. Fluid intake should be more, have 3 to 4 litres of water in a day. Strictly avoid caffeine. A routine diet and disciplined life habits should be a mandatory factor to look after.

How long does it take to recover?

Recovery is entirely dependent on the stage of colon cancer a person is suffering from. For patients with a small touch of cancer, it gets cured with the execution of a minimal surgery. However, on the other hand, the last stage of colon cancer demands chemotherapy or radiation therapy and thus takes a huge amount of time to recover. Research speaks around 50% of the patient experiencing the last stage of colon cancer gets cured. Previously, people would survive for around 8 to 10 weeks while now advanced medical research and innovation enables a person to live up to 30 weeks and about 10% of the total patient at last stage have chances for complete recovery.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The cost of the treatment of colon cancer varies according to the patient’s condition and the stage of cancer they are experiencing. For surgery in case of patients with stage I colon cancer, cost of treatment is hugely less than patients at the last stage of colon cancer. Thus the range starts from 2.5 lakhs to 20 lakhs that includes several sessions of chemotherapies and radiation therapies.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

For patients diagnosed with the first stage of colon cancer, complete recovery can be achieved. The constant growth in medical science has undoubtedly enhanced the survival rate of people with colon cancer. Previously, a person at the last stage of colon cancer could survive up to 7 to 8 weeks whereas, nowadays a person can live up to 30 weeks with treatment. On the other hand, proper medical treatment results in survival rates up to 50% for patients with colon cancer.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Besides medical treatment for colon cancer, natural products even result in producing amazing treatment fighting against the growth of colon cancer. National Cancer Institute releases a Factsheet on the utility of garlic in preventing colon cancer. Thus, more consumption of garlic acts as an antidote to colon cancer. Intake of red meat should be avoided. Use of olive oil and foods rich in selenium are more preferable during this time. Last but not the least, plenty of antioxidant in green vegetables, fruits, herbs and diet are of huge help.

Safety: Disease Effectiveness: Medium Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: High Side Effects: Medium Time For Recovery: Very High Price Range:

Popular Health Tips

Rectal Cancer - Types Of Surgeries That Can Help!

Fellowship in Gastrointestinal and Endocrine Surgery, Fellowship in Advanced Laproscopy & Bariatric Surgery
General Surgeon, Hyderabad
Rectal Cancer - Types Of Surgeries That Can Help!

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. The 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 the 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.

  1. Low Anterior Resection Surgery: When the cancer or the tumor is located above the anus, then low anterior resection surgery is the best surgery. The 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.
  2. 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. The rectal cancer, the anus, adjusting rectal tissues and the lymph nodes are removed.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Pelvic exenteration: When the 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.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

1864 people found this helpful

Colorectal Surgery - Why You Must Consider It?

DNB (Surgical gastroenterology, MS( General Surgery), MBBS, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, Diploma in Minimal Access Surgery, Fellow of International College of Robotic Surgeons
Surgical Gastroenterologist, Delhi
Colorectal Surgery - Why You Must Consider It?

The field of medicine has evolved to a considerable extent that most health issues can be treated using drugs and minimally invasive procedures. Still, there are circumstances wherein surgical intervention is the best possible course of treatment where the pros outweigh the cons and prove to be highly beneficial to the patients.

One such situation is when a patient is suffering from colorectal disorders such abnormal cracks and tears in the anus to fecal incontinence, congenital disabilities in colon or anus, rectal or colon cancers or rectal or anal prolapse and does not respond to medication. This is when colorectal surgery, once known as proctology, becomes essential. It is a field of medicine that refers to the various surgical procedures that are performed to treat such disorders in the colon, anus, and rectum.

Here are few more compelling reasons why the surgery is the best possible solution in this scenario.

  • Availability of various types: Colorectal surgery doesn't refer to one single surgical technique, but a collection of different surgical methods that can offer relief from various colorectal conditions. Some of the common colorectal surgical methods are colectomy, endoscopic surgery, colostomy, rectopexy, IBD surgery and hemorrhoidectomy which can effectively deal with the colorectal issues.
  • Complete relief: In case of many colorectal conditions such as fissures, piles, and fistula, medications or lifestyle changes fail to offer a complete relief from the discomfort. They tend to come back again, making surgical removal the only option for complete relief. Similarly, in colon cancer also, it is through colorectal surgery that the disease can be cured.
  • Lesser downtime: Depending on the type of colorectal surgery performed, there are different recovery time required. Though for traditional open colorectal surgeries, such as inflammatory bowel disease surgery, the recovery time may be weeks, for laparoscopic colorectal surgeries the downtime is considerably lesser as only ‘keyhole' like cuts are made. A laparoscopic colorectal surgery means lesser hospital stay as well as less pain, less scarring and quicker getting back to normal life.
  • Various conditions can be treated: Whatever be the state of the colon, small bowel, anus, and rectum and be it malignant or benign, the problem can be addressed through either laparoscopic and open colorectal surgical techniques as applicable. From anorectal disorders like an abscess, cancer, fissure, fistula, haemorrhoids, polyps, stenosis to rectal, etc. and colon disorders like colorectal cancer, ulcerative colitis, diverticular disease, bowel obstruction, hereditary non-polyposis, etc. can be treated through colorectal surgery. So, as can be noted, because of the numerous benefits it offers, colorectal surgery is the preferred treatment option when it comes to the colorectal disorders especially when medications are not helpful. Your gastrointestinal surgeon would decide on the course of treatment plan depending on your condition and proceed accordingly.

So, as can be noted, because of the numerous benefits it offers, colorectal surgery is the preferred treatment option when it comes to the colorectal disorders especially when medications are not helpful. Your gastroenterologist would decide on the course of treatment plan depending on your condition and proceed accordingly. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3660 people found this helpful

The ABCs Of Cancer Prevention!

MBBS, M.S., MCh - Surgical Oncology
Oncologist, Bangalore
The ABCs Of Cancer Prevention!

Cancer occurs when the controlled mechanism of the body is not able to function properly, leading to the development and rampant growth of the malignant cells in the body. These abnormally formed cells form a mass of tissues called tumor, which result in the growth of cancer. Symptoms and signs of cancer vary depending on which part of your body is affected. The early symptoms may include fatigue, loss of weight and appetite, dark patches on the skin, unexplained joint pain or bleeding.

In majority of the cases, people are diagnosed with the disease at an advanced stage where the body fails to react to any medical treatment due to low immunity and poor resistance power. There have been many contradictions regarding the prevention of cancer. Many a time, it so happens that a specific tip on how to prevent cancer recommended by one person or is advised against by another person. All these contradictions may leave you confused and baffled thinking what to do or how to steer away from cancer.

However, the notion that making healthy lifestyle choices helps prevent cancer is widely accepted these days, with the backing of science, of course. That’s why we’re here to help you out with certain ways-

  1. Avoid all forms of tobacco: It is probably one of the best health decisions you can make since consumption of tobacco can cause cancer in your oral cavity or pancreas. Smoking also has adverse effects on your health and most likely affects your lungs. If you’re having difficulty in quitting cigarettes, consult a doctor for strategies and anti-smoking medications that may help you. Also, limit consumption of alcohol to maybe once or twice a week because excessive alcohol consumption can cause cancer in the liver, esophagus or larynx.
  2. Maintain a balanced diet: Intake of red meat and saturated fat can increase the chances of prostate and colon cancer. So reduce intake of fried and charbroiled food. Include lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and fish to your diet. Food that is rich in fiber can help reduce the risk of colon cancer.
  3. Control your body weight: One major risk factor that may lead to cancer is obesity; so, you need to maintain a balanced weight. High-calorie foods like fat from animal sources and sugary beverages increase your body weight. Exercise or any sort of physical activity can help you reduce weight and hence lower the risk of developing prostate and colon cancer. It also helps to reduce chances of breast cancer or cancer in any reproductive organ among women.
  4. Avoid exposure to radiation: Ultraviolet rays and unnecessary sun exposure can cause skin cancer and melanomas, so make sure you have taken necessary precautions before stepping out. You can go for a good sunscreen with effective SPF to keep yourself protected from the harmful UV rays.

Cancer treatments can be very strenuous and emotionally draining, so the best way to fight cancer is to prevent it from the very beginning. These tips on making lifestyle changes can be very useful in preventing cancer.

3297 people found this helpful

How Laparoscopic Surgery Is Beneficial For Colon Cancer?

MCh - Pediatric Surgery, MRCS, MS - General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery(FMAS) & Reproductive Medicine, MBBS
General Surgeon, Hyderabad
How Laparoscopic Surgery Is Beneficial For Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer is the cancer of the colon or rectum, situated at the lower end of the digestive tract. Bowel cancer or colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer and primarily affects people aged 50 and over. It generally arises as non-cancerous polyps without one's knowledge and symptoms begin to surface slowly. Changes in bowel habits, constipation, diarrhea, blood in the stool or rectal bleeding, abdominal cramps and discomfort are some of the common symptoms of colon cancer. This type of cancer often has no symptoms but can be detected by screening. So doctors recommend screenings for those at high risk or over the age of 50.

Risk factors that make a person more likely to develop colon cancer are

  • Other family members who have suffered from colon cancer
  • Polyps in the colon
  • Ulcerative colitis or in simpler words
  • Chronic inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Excess body weight

Treatment of colorectal cancer depends on the

  • Size
  • Location and how far the cancer has spread.

The most common treatments can be removal of the cancerous polyp through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. A test known as a colonoscopy is performed to detect the disease. Samples of tissues are collected from areas which are suspected to contain cancer cells and this makes it possible to detect the cancer. Smaller colorectal polyps can be removed during the colonoscopy. Chemotherapy or radiation therapy is used to treat cancer only in advanced stages.

Laparoscopy is a procedure which enables the doctor to have a look inside the abdominal cavity with a special camera. To conduct a laparoscopic treatment, incisions are made in the abdomen. Generally, 3-6 incisions are made varying between 5-10mm. These small incisions are used to insert the laparoscope and special laparoscope instruments. The laparoscope guides the surgeon by transmitting a picture of the internal organs on a monitor.

There are several advantages of undergoing a laparoscopic surgery for cancerous colon removal compared to a large open incision. Patients undergoing a laparoscopic approach experience less pain, faster return of intestinal function, a shorter period of rest, and quicker walking ability all of which aids in recovery and leading a normal life faster. Instead of making long incisions that are common in traditional open surgery, laparoscopic surgery requires only small incisions to perform the same operation. Also, treatment of colon cancer has been the most effective using laparoscopic surgeries.

Doctors must be consulted before undergoing any such surgery. Through tests and screenings, they can determine the intensity of the cancer, how far it has spread, where it is located and on the basis of it, the method of treatment needs to be decided. One must strictly follow the doctor’s advice especially diet rules before and after the operation is conducted to ease bowel movements and aid in healing.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

1788 people found this helpful

Colon Cancer - What Signs You Must Watch Out For?

MS - General Surgery, MCH - Oncology , MBBS
Oncologist, Pune
Colon Cancer - What Signs You Must Watch Out For?

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.

  1. In stage 0, cancer remains in situ, (it remains confined within the innermost layer of the colon).
  2. In stage I, cancer slowly starts spreading to the other layers (second and third) of the inner walls of the colon.
  3. In stage II, cancer spreads further to the muscular walls of the colon (the lymph nodes, are, however, still not affected by this condition).
  4. In stage III, cancer spreads outside the colon, affecting one or more lymph nodes.
  5. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Mild to severe abdominal pain. The abdomen also appears tender than usual (in the case of metastatic tumor).
  5. Stomach upset accompanied by pain, nausea, vomiting, cramps and at times, indigestion (an outcome of intestinal obstruction and inflammation).
  6. There may be blood while passing stool.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2188 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Hello sir stage 3 colon cancer is curable or not. Six chemotherapy have been completed. I think the patient is a little better than before. Sir I just want to know stage 3 colon cancer is curable or not? Plez sir help me. Because I'm very worried.

MBBS, M.S. General Surgery, M.R.C.S. England, M.Ch. Surgical Oncology, DNB Surgical Oncology, FEBS Surgical Oncology, DNB General Surgery, MNAMS, FMAS, FIAGES, FAIS, FICS, FEBS Breast Surgery, FACS, Fellowship IFHNOS & MSKCC USA, Fellowship in breast and oncplastic Surgery
Oncologist, Mumbai
Yes. If proper treatment has been given. I would be able to opine better if you send me the detailed reports Feel free to contact me directly if you want to discuss this further.
1 person found this helpful

My father was in advance stage in Stomach Cancer After taking three cycle of chemo, he was completely bed ridden. It took three month to recover him from the chemo effect. We planned for surgery In Feb. 2018, During surgery, it had found that the cancer had been spread through out the abdomen. The surgeons could not perform the surgery and closed it. The onco-surgeons suggested for chemotherapy. Again, we consulted medical oncologist, they told us it can not be given any chemo medicine. As per oncologist any type of feeding is not possible due weak clinical conditions. Now he is in home with normal saline and multivitamin. He is takings Ondem and Tranexa (through IV). Till his vomiting and bleeding is not under control. He is taking Celemin 10 plus (parental Nutrient) in every week. But, till his vomiting and black stool (like black water) is not under control. Now he is very weak. He can not move. All these salines are given to him through a home nursing. Please advise shall we continue these medicines in everyday.

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - Internal Medicine, DM - Oncology
Oncologist, Mohali
Dear lybrate-user I can understand your father is suffering from advanced stage of cancer. At this time surgery or chemo is not an option. He should be given medicines for pain relief only so that this final period is pain free. If bleeding continues that small amount of radiotherapy to stop bleeding can be tried which is helpful to small percentage of people Kindly consult your doctor for that.
4 people found this helpful

My mother has cancer 4th stage, she has colon tumor cancer spread liver and whole belly, if any alternative medicine please suggest me?

MBBS, M.S. General Surgery, M.R.C.S. England, M.Ch. Surgical Oncology, DNB Surgical Oncology, FEBS Surgical Oncology, DNB General Surgery, MNAMS, FMAS, FIAGES, FAIS, FICS, FEBS Breast Surgery, FACS, Fellowship IFHNOS & MSKCC USA, Fellowship in breast and oncplastic Surgery
Oncologist, Mumbai
The prognosis of fourth stage colon cancer depends upon the type of cancer and the amount of spread. If few metastasis to liver or lung, then they can be resected after giving chemotherapy. If the metastasis are unresectable, then Chemotherapy with or without targeted therapy may be given. If peritoneal disease is present then some people recommend cytoreduction with intraperitoneal chemotherapy, which may prolong her life, but it has multiple side effects and cost is also high. I would be able to opine better if you could share the reports. Feel free to contact me directly if you want to discuss this further.
6 people found this helpful

Hi Following is the report of an endoscopy: large friable, polypoidal growth in ascending colon almost adjacent to caecum. Looks malignant. Biopsy done multiple polyps in transverse colon. Please guide.

MBBS, DNB Gen Surgery, DNB Surgical Oncology
Oncologist, Bangalore
You need to wait for the biopsy results. You will need surgery. The extend of surgery need to be discussed. However, all planning to be fine after a CT scan.
4 people found this helpful

I have cancer in my intestine. and mere chemotherapy chal rahi hai, I want to know ki kya chemotherapy me hairs jate hai, please I want satisfactory answer. I am too tensed about my hairs.

Dear lybrate-user ji Chemotherapy has its own effects of Alopecia. It varies from patient to patient and Chemo to Chemo. If it’s the hair you are concerned about it does grow back 3 months post therapy and darker and thicker. If for cosmetic purposes better still these days wigs are available and in customised options. Regards.

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Play video
Colon Cancer
Colon cancer happens when tumorous growths develop in the large intestine. There are often no symptoms in the earliest stages, but symptoms may develop as the cancer advances. Treatment will depend on the type and stage of cancer, and the age, health status, and other characteristics of the patient.
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