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