Colorectal Cancer

Bowel or Colon is also called as large intestine which is an important organ of human digestive system. It is an organ that connects small intestine to Rectum / Anus. In colon, nutrients from the crushed food are absorbed into body and left over fecal matter is collected to be excreted from the body.

When cells of colon or rectum start growing in an abnormal and uncontrolled fashion, it produces tumor (bound structure) and eventually cancer (spread to nearby and distant organs).

Symptoms of bowel cancer are as follows.

Surgery, Chemotherapy and Radiation all are combined in a predefined proportion depending on stage and physical state of patient to treat colon cancer. Surgery is a mainstay and a curative treatment in this disease, especially in case of stage 1 & 2 cancer of colon and type of surgery changes depending on where the cancer is located and how much damage has it caused to colon and rectum. Stage 1 & 2 colon cancer patients many a times do not require chemotherapy after surgery, therefore, early diagnosis is advisable so that patient can get away for only surgery and remain cured from colon cancer. Many times, small part of damaged colon is cut and removed during colorectal cancer surgery and remaining part if tied to each other to restore normal function of excretion. Rarely, extent of colon damage is large because of which colon is removed and Ostomy (Stoma) is installed in patients. Stoma is a bag like structure placed outside body and connected inside abdomen which works like collection bag for fecal matter of patients. With proper care and handling of stoma, patients can lead a normal life. Stoma is the last option if nothing else can be done for the treatment and it is required in very few patients. Statistically speaking, these days, stoma is required in only 1%-2% of patients due to advances in medical science to make better treatment options available for patients.

In case of a metastatic colon cancer or cancer which is spread to other organs, it blocks the passage of colon which is called obstruction of colon and it starts producing severe symptoms. Such obstruction can only be removed by surgery so that patient can be relieved momentarily. Many a times, we place stent in the colon to avoid obstruction again. After such a surgery, other treatments for colon cancer are initiated.

Risk factors for colon cancer are as follows.

Many a times, cancer are treated for hemorroids due to misdiagnosis and worsen to last stage where few options are left for treatment. It is important that we report early symptoms to doctor or Oncologist so that early diagnosis can be done and colon cancer patients can be given a long and good quality life. It is recommended that fecal occult test (Stool test for Blood traces) should be done as a screening test annually and colonoscopy should be done every 3-5 years.