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Colon Cancer Tips

Colorectal Surgery - What Does It Treat?

Colorectal Surgery - What Does It Treat?

Colorectal surgery deals with the disorders of the rectum, anus and colon. Another name of colon is ‘large intestine’. These three body parts form the last stages of the digestive process. When the human waste passes through the colon, its salt and water are extracted before it exits the body as human excreta.

Colorectal disorders

  1. Swelling and inflammation of the veins in the anus (also called as Haemorrhoids)
  2. Anal fissures- unnatural cracks and fissures in the anal area
  3. Fistulas or the unnatural connections between the anus and other anorectal areas
  4. Conditions of constipation
  5. Incontinence in passing of faeces
  6. When the walls of the rectum protrude through the anus- also called as Rectal prolapse
  7. Birth defects such as imperforate anus
  8. Anal cancer- this condition is rare
  9. Colorectal cancer- cancer of colon and rectum
  10. Any injuries to the anus
  11. Removal of any objects inserted into the anus

Bowel habits after colorectal surgery
Many patients report cases of diarrhoea, leakage of stool or gas, urgency to use the toilet and a feeling of insufficient evacuation of faeces. Relax; these conditions are not going to last forever. Your rectum and anus are adjusting to new conditions after this surgery. These organs may take six to twelve months to adjust to new bowel habits.

Is there a need to take a laxative or stool softener?

There is no need to take laxatives after a colorectal surgery. Drink lots of water to make your stool softer and easy to pass. If there is a water deficiency in your body, then it may lead to your faeces becoming hard. In that case, take milk of magnesium, colace etc.

 

Activities post surgery
You can continue with your normal schedule after this surgical procedure. Carry on running, jogging, exercising, climbing up the stairs etc. even after your surgery. Gastroenterologists recommend that patients should desist from lifting loads weighing more than 10 pounds so that there are no post surgery complications.

Diet after colorectal surgery
Avoid spicy and heavy to digest meals after your surgery. Once the intestines begin working normally, you can continue having your spicy food. Chew your food well to aid its digestion.

Returning to work after colorectal surgery
Most people are back to their work after taking a break of 2-5 days. If the surgery is pretty detailed, you may have to take a break of up to a month. Patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery may have to take a rest of 2- 4 weeks before they report back to work. Take it easy before slipping into your regular schedule. If working hurts after your surgery, don’t do it.

Bowel Resection - What Should You Know?

Bowel Resection - What Should You Know?

Cancer can affect almost any part of the body. However, the more severe cases of the disease affect your colorectal region. It is the third and fourth most common form of cancer to affect women and men, respectively. While chemotherapy and radiation therapy is useful against colon and rectal cancers, early cases are benifited by surgery.

When it comes to surgery for colon cancer, doctors will  need to remove the affected  colon (colectomy). Based on which colon is removed its called as right hemoicolectomy (for right sided colon), Left colectomy (For lesft sided colon) and so on. The surgery you need depends on how far the cancer has spread.

When is bowel resection performed?

Here are some cases when your doctor will recommend undergoing a colectomy.

• Cancer - This is the most common reason for the surgery. Even though the exact ratio of the colon removed differs from one patient to another.

• Crohn’s Disease

• Blockage

Diverticulitis

• Severe bleeding

Procedure for bowel resection surgeries:

Bowel resection is a major surgery. The three major ways to conduct a bowel resection surgery are -

1. Open surgery - This is the most common form of bowel resection. The doctor will make a large incision on your abdomen. He/she will use this incision to perform the surgery and remove a part of your colon.

2. Laparoscopic surgery - In this form of the surgery, the primary incision is very small. Additional incisions are made on the abdomen as well. Doctors use a laparoscope, to perform the surgery using the small incisions. The laparoscope houses a camera, which allows the doctor to see inside the abdominal cavity while performing the surgery.

3. Robot-assisted laparoscopic resection - Similar to laparoscopic surgeries, the robot-assisted method attaches the laparoscope to a robot, who performs the surgery. The surgeon simply controls the robot performing the surgery.

The type of surgery you will undergo depends on your condition and the portion of the colon that needs to be removed. Speak with your doctor to determine the best form of bowel resection surgery in your case.

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Colonic Polyps - Know The Causes & Symptoms Of It!

Colonic Polyps - Know The Causes & Symptoms Of It!

Colon polyps are growths that are typically found in the large intestine. Although the causes behind the occurrence of colon polyps are not known, this condition is usually seen to affect adults.

These colon polyps might turn into colon cancer over a period of time; the development of cancer can happen over a number of years.

Colon polyps are usually symptomless; hence it becomes difficult to diagnose the condition. They are commonly found as additional results of screening tests for colon cancers. Screening tests are conducted when there is a suspicion of a disease but it displays no significant symptoms. The symptoms can only be visible if the polyps are enlarged.

Typical symptoms include:

  1. Rectal bleeding.

  2. Changes in bowel conditions such as diarrhoea and constipation.

  3. Changes in urination patterns.

  4. Change in appearance of stool.

As the presence of most polyps becomes evident only during colon cancer tests, it is recommended that regular tests for colon cancer be conducted for adults over the age of 50.

Some of these tests include:

  1. Colonoscopy: This is highly recommended for detecting colon polyps. A small tube used for viewing is inserted into the colon by the doctor.

  2. Flexible Sigmoidoscopy: It is similar to colonoscopy with the only difference being that the tube is smaller.

  3. Computed Tomographic Colonography (CTC): Also known as virtual colonoscopy, various computer systems and X-rays are used to create a detailed picture of the colon so that the doctor can search for polyps.

The size of the colon polyps helps to identify if the polyp is cancerous or not. Chances of the polyp being cancerous are high if the size of the polyp is higher than 1 cm or 0.4 inches. Hyperplastic polyps (smaller polyps) do not become cancerous and hence, do not need to undergo a colonoscopy. Another form of polyp is the sessile polyp which is usually a flat growth without a stalk and grows on the inner wall of the colon. Similar to other polyps, these polyps can be found and removed using a colonoscopy or a sigmoidoscopy.

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Basic Facts About Colorectal Cancer!

Basic Facts About Colorectal Cancer!

Colorectal surgery is the broad term for surgical procedures performed on the colon, the rectum and the anus. There are various different surgical procedures which fall under colorectal surgery and these are used to treat a vast array of disorders, such as:

1. Anal cancer
2. Colorectal cancer
3. Severe complications related to constipation
4. Anal injuries
5. Inflammatory conditions of the gastro-intestinal tract
6. Congenital defects

Procedures
The surgeries under colorectal surgery are performed after diagnostic tests such as proctoscopy, sigmoidoscopy and defecating proctography. The most common diagnostic test is colonoscopy. These help to identify the origin and nature of the problem and decide which surgical procedure is to be followed. The procedures under colorectal surgery are as follows:

1. Colectomy

This procedure involves removal of a section of the large intestine. This is known as partial colectomy. In extreme cases, such as advanced cancer or severe gastrointestinal infection, the entire colon is removed and this is called total colectomy. Sometimes, the rectum is also taken out along with the colon and this is called proctocolectomy.

2. Colonic polypectomy
An abnormal growth of tissues of the inner lining of an organ is known as a polyp. Colonic polypectomy is done to eliminate polyps from the colon and rectum before they become malignant. This can be done endoscopically. Surgery is required in case of large polyps.

3. Strictureplasty
Chronic or repeated bowel inflammation causes scar tissue to accumulate in the large intestine. This results in the narrowing of the colon. Stricturoplasty removes the scar tissue so that proper flow of digestive contents is resumed.

4. Colostomy or Ileostomy
A damaged section of the colon is removed and the shortened intestine is then attached to another opening (stoma) in the anterior wall of the abdomen.

5. Hemorrhoidectomy
This surgical process is used for swollen hemorrhoids or blood vessels which form in the anal canal. Hemorrhoidectomy is extremely effective in removing hemorrhoids but the surgery also involves a number of complications.

6. Anoplasty
Anoplasty or imperforate anus correction is done to correct birth defects in the rectum and the anus. The structural flaw does not allow the stool to pass properly from the rectum and so it is repaired using surgery.
 

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Colon Cancer - Causes , Symptoms & Treatment Options!

Colon Cancer - Causes , Symptoms & Treatment Options!

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 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.

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Liver Abscess - Causes & Treatments Available For It!

Liver Abscess - Causes & Treatments Available For It!

A pyogenic liver abscess (PLA) is a condition where pus collects in the liver in the form of a pocket as a result of bacterial infection. Pus formation occurs when the body tries to fight off any infection. The pus is basically a fluid-like substance that comprises dead cells as well as white blood cells. During PLA, the pus accumulates inside the liver pocket instead of draining off from the site of infection.

Those suffering from pyogenic liver abscess are likely to suffer from conditions such as inflammation and swelling. Patients may also suffer from pain experienced in the abdominal area. If the disease is left untreated, it can prove to be fatal.

Causes

Pyogenic Liver Abscess can occur because of the biliary disorder. The biliary disease is an umbrella term for a few conditions that might affect areas of the body such as the pancreas, liver and gallbladder. Certain other risks and causes include-

• Bacterial growth from an appendix that has become ruptured and has formed an abscess
Colon cancer
Pancreatic cancer
• Inflammatory diseases of the bowel tract such as perforated bowel or diverticulitis
• Septicemia or blood infection
• PLA could also have been brought about by a trauma to the liver as a result of an injury or accident.

Treatment of Pyogenic Liver Abscess

In order to come to a conclusion about the condition, the doctor will need to run a number of imaging as well as blood culture tests.

• Initially, the health care provider will aim to treat your condition with antibiotics alone. This is because antibiotics help in preventing the chances of the bacteria spreading throughout the body. As opposed to the earlier preference of surgical drainage form, nowadays, percutaneous drainage of the pus is preferred as the first line of treatment. However, if your case has reached the more severe stage then surgery will be required to remove the abscess.

• A liver abscess surgery is performed using general anaesthesia. During the surgery, the surgeon will insert a needle into the diseased liver, and place a catheter to remove the pus. After the surgery, you will be prescribed antibiotics for a number of weeks in order to completely remove the infection that has spread to your body.

The antibiotic course occurs in two phases-

• Intravenous - The intravenous course of antibiotics helps in the healing process in the earlier stages.
• Oral - this can extend for several weeks.

Pyogenic Liver Abscess if left untreated can turn fatal for the person suffering from it. You should immediately seek out medical help if you notice symptoms of PLA such as vomiting, dark-coloured urine, diarrhoea, chills, rapid weight loss and fever. A prompt treatment is important for quick healing.

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Colorectal Cancer - All You Should Be Knowing!

Colorectal Cancer - All You Should Be Knowing!

Colorectal cancer is a very prevalent form of cancer that affects the colon or rectum (anus) in people. It is also known as bowel cancer, colon cancer or rectal cancer. It can develop in either a benign or a malignant form. A malignant form of colorectal cancer gradually spreads to all other parts of the body and can be life-threatening. Early detection and treatment, however, can keep it from getting that serious.

Symptoms: how do you know if you have colorectal cancer?

Following are the signs to watch out for-

• Stool that contains blood and is black or red in colour instead of the normal yellow
Loss of appetite
• A tumour-like formation in the abdomen revealed after a medical check-up
• Feeling of heaviness in the abdomen even after stool has been passed
Constipation
Diarrhoea
• A continuous feeling of exhaustion
• Loss of weight, which you cannot understand the reason for

How do you treat this disease?

This disease can be treated in various ways. They are-

• The surgical method - The tumours and the lymph nodes near them are removed surgically from the body. This reduces the risk of cancer affecting the other body parts. The surgery may either be done for completely removing the cancerous growths or if it is too late, to provide relief from the symptoms.

Chemotherapy - This involves the use of medicines to relieve cancer. The medicines may also be used in combination with surgery, to reduce the size of the cancerous tumours before they are operated on.

Radiation therapy- This procedure uses rays to shrink cancerous tumours and heal cancer, or at the least keeps it from affecting other body parts. It is a common form of treatment in case of bowel cancer.

Recovery: the final step

The last step in treatment and gradual recovery of the patient depends on the following factors-

• If the patient was healthy before cancer struck
• If detection was made early
• If the patient’s colon was blocked or impaired

Colorectal cancer is a disease that has the potential to turn fatal. Early detection can help in almost all cases, so you best watch out for the symptoms. If you are diagnosed with it, you can go for treatment in any of the methodologies mentioned above.

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Colon Polyps - How To Diagnose It?

Colon Polyps - How To Diagnose It?

A polyp is a cauliflower-like growth on the skin or the mucosal surface. Colon is the medical term for the larger intestine and the rectum. A growth on the mucosal surface of this part of the intestine is known as a colon polyp. Although not visible, colon polyps are present with symptoms, which can lead to their diagnosis. The main cause for concern is that some colon polyps can turn into colorectal cancer, which is the third largest cancer in America.

Types: There are two main types of polyps

  1. Hyperplastic or inflammatory: These are benign growths and do not carry the risk of developing into cancer.
  2. Adenomas: These carry the risk of turning into cancer, and so early detection and intervention is essential.

Though not all polyps develop into tumors, yet all tumors develop from a polyp. There is a strong genetic component, which makes it worse. Someone with inflammatory bowel disease or Crohn’s disease is also at a higher risk of mucosal inflammation, which can induce dysplasia and then polyps.

Risk factors:

  1. Family history
  2. Inflammatory bowel disease
  3. Obesity
  4. Diet rich in processed meat and red meat
  5. Smoking
  6. Lack of physical activity
  7. Type 2 diabetes
  8. Being male, being African American

Symptoms: Though often silent, some symptoms which also appear only after the polyp has grown considerably include:

  1. Bleeding with stools – often small amounts intermittently, which is occult bleeding, not visible though
  2. Altered bowel habits (constipation, diarrhea)
  3. Abdominal pain and discomfort
  4. Unexplained weight loss
  5. Anemia (due to blood loss)

Diagnosis: If a person is at risk from medical history and has the above symptoms, then the following are done:

  1. Sigmoidoscopy Viewing the colon and rectum to see if there are any polyps. A biopsy may also be taken to confirm cancerous growth.
  2. Colonoscopy The entire colon is viewed to rule out polyps in other areas of the colon.
  3. CT scan of the abdomen which is non-invasive and can be used as the first step.

Treatment:

  1. If a polyp is diagnosed, then it needs to be removed.
  2. If it turns out cancerous, then detailed evaluation should be done to rule out spread to other areas. Additionally, chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be required to completely eliminate the tumor and contain it.
  3. The surgical removal of the tumor would be planned depending on the stage of the tumor.
  4. Adapting a healthy lifestyle is very essential to managing polyps and preventing cancer. Quitting smoking, managing weight, eating healthy, and being physically active are some ways to prevent colorectal cancer.
  5. Repeat colonoscopy needs to be done to ensure these are not recurrent.
3664 people found this helpful

Colon Cancer - How To Track It?

Colon Cancer -  How To Track 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 travelling 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 fibre 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 (anaemia) 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 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.

2686 people found this helpful

Ulcerative Colitis Surgery - Understanding Its Types!

Ulcerative Colitis Surgery - Understanding Its Types!

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory condition whereby, tiny abscesses and ulcers are formed on the inner lining of the large intestine, or on the colon or rectum. These ulcers may burst frequently resulting in diarrhea and bloody stools. This disease may also be responsible for causing anemia as well as harsh abdominal pain.

Ulcerative colitis normally alternate periodically from flaring up to receding quickly. These periods of remission can either last for weeks or maybe, even for years at a stretch. They are, however, not permanent and although the disease may seem to have disappeared completely, it can soon show up again in no time. Usually beginning in the rectum, it can, by and by, spread rapidly to other parts of the colon. If it is, however, limited only to the rectum, then it is more commonly referred to as ulcerative proctitis.

Surgery is generally obligatory and mandatory when it comes to treating ulcerative colitis. If surgery is not performed, you may suffer from long-lasting side effects, including cancer and colon rupture. Here are the different types of surgery that you may undergo:

  1. Colectomy: This is done when the entire colon needs to be removed and is usually performed to eliminate the perils of acquiring colon cancer.
  2. Proctocolectomy: This concerns the total removal of both colon and rectum and is usually the standard procedure when dealing with ulcerative colitis.
  3. Ileal Pouch Anal Anastomosis: If the treatment does not require a permanent stoma, and if you can still manage to let out stool from your anus, then this surgery, also called restorative proctocolectomy would be most appropriate.

Here, both colon and rectum are removed, but at the same time, the small intestine is utilized to form an internal reservoir, called a J-pouch, which is linked to the anus and can hereafter serve as your new rectum.

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