Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon), the lower part of your digestive system. Rectal cancer is cancer of the last several inches of the colon. Together, they’re often referred to as colorectal cancers. The large intestine is the lower part of your digestive system and colon cancer occurs over here. If you diagnose the polyps it can be removed easily. However, as it becomes colon cancers, the chances of curing diminishes. Colon cancers begins in the large intestine as small noncancerous benign, which are cell clumps and if left for long, this turns into colon cancers. Hence, it’s important to identify Polyps before it turns into colon cancers. Colon cancer in combination with Rectal cancer is known as Colorectal cancer. Rectal is the last several inches of the colon (large intestine).
Colon Cancer Symptoms
Various signs and symptoms of Colon Cancer include:
- Change in bowel movement with problems like diarrhea as well as changes in stool consistency.
- Blood in the stool
- A sort of feeling that the bowel is partially filled.
- Lack of energy all the time, a state of fatigue.
- Sudden heavy weight loss
Symptoms might appear late and hence if anybody finds problems with bowel then he should consult with a doctor immediately. In case any risk factor is found, your doctor will immediately call for detailed diagnosis. Early treatment can save your life.
Colon Cancer Causes
Sometimes healthy cells get altered. Generally, Healthy cells grow through cell division in an orderly manner for ensuring the normal functioning of body with growing age.
However, if the cells get damaged, then there are chances for them becoming cancerous and they continue division even when the body does not need the new cells. This can lead to normal tissue destruction and hence cancer cells can spread in other body parts.
Colon cancers begin with precancerous cells, also known as polyps and polyps turn into cancer cells if not removed. Gene mutation also increases the chances of colon cancer. FAP and HNPCC are some of the disorders related to colon cancers.
- Alteration of healthy cells
- Mutation of genes
- Familial adenomatous polyposis(FAP)
- Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer(HNPCC)
Colon Cancer Diagnosis
In case the doctor finds symptoms of colon cancer in you, your doctor will prescribe you some tests.
- A colonoscopy: here, a scope is used to examine the inside of your colon. It uses a long, flexible tube connected to a video camera for monitoring the entire rectum and colon from inside. Doctors might take biopsies for analysis of the suspicious areas, if in case such region is found.
- CT colonoscopy: If in case patient cannot go through a colonoscopy, the doctor will prescribe you CT colonoscopy also known as virtual colonoscopy where various CT images are combined together to get the clear picture of colon from inside for complete diagnosis. Once, colon cancer is diagnosed, the doctor will then prescribe the test for staging so that appropriate treatment can be given. Sometimes stages cannot be determined.
Colon Cancer Treatment
Treatment options for colon cancer depend on the severity of the stage. However, overall, there are six main types of treatment for colon cancer.
- Surgery: This is the most common treatment for all forms of the colon cancer. Local excision or resection surgery may be used by your doctor to remove the cancer.
- Radiofrequency ablation: This treatment is used to kill cancerous cells through the use of an electrical probe.
- Cryosurgery: Here, cancerous cells and tissues are destroyed by being frozen.
- Radiation therapy: The cancerous cells are killed off using x-rays and other forms of radiation.
- Targeted therapy: Drugs are used to target and attack the cancerous cells without damaging normal cells.