Colon Cancer It is a type of cancer that begins in the large intestine. It typically affects older adults.
Causes of Colon Cancer
Healthy colon cells acquire DNA mutations, causing colon cancer.
Cell division and growth keep your body working efficiently. When damaged cells' DNA divides even when new cells aren't required. Tumors form when cells combine.
Cancer cells may invade and destroy normal tissue. And cancerous cells might spread to other organs to create deposits (metastasis).
Risk Factor of Colon Cancer
Age: Colon and rectal cancer risks rise with age, most occurring in those over 50.
Lifestyle: Lifestyle factors including physical inactivity, obesity, heavy drinking, and smoking enhance your risk of colon cancer.
Ethnicity: Your race and ethnicity might influence your risk of colon cancer. For example, colon cancer occurs most often in African Americans and Ashkenazi Jews.
Family History: You are more prone to cancer if a close relative has had colon or rectal cancer. Inflammatory bowel disease
Signs or Symptoms of Colon Cancer
Colorectal cancer symptoms include:
Alternation in bowel habits
Diarrhoea, constipation, or incomplete bowel emptying
Blood in stool/stool mixed with blood bright red or dark
Stools that are smaller or thinner than usual
Abdominal pain, bloating, fullness, and cramps
Unknown weight loss
Tiredness or fatigue
Unexplained anaemia (low red blood cell count)
Colon Cancer Diagnosis
Physical Examination and History
Digital Rectal Examination
Blood tests: Tumor markers, CBC
Colonoscopy It helps in examination of full length of colon to see any other lesion / cancer and to take biopsy.
Biopsy A colonoscopy biopsy for suspected colorectal cancer. With the scope, the doctor extracts a small piece of tissue.
CT Scan of abdomen & Pelvis – To assess the extent of the spread of cancer.
Stages of Colon Cancer
The TNM system is one method doctors characterize the stage. Doctors use to test and scan results to answer these questions:
Has the tumor growing into the colon or rectum wall? How many layers
Is the tumor in the lymph nodes?
Has the cancer spread? They Combine the results to determine the cancer stage for each individual.
Possible Treatment of Colon Cancer
Main treatment for colon cancer is surgery
Colonoscopy polyp removal
For small, early-stage cancers contained inside polyp, your doctor may be able to remove it entirely during a colonoscopy.
Endoscopic mucosal resection
Removes larger polyps during colonoscopy.
The surgeon eliminates the cancerous colon tissue and a margin of healthy tissue on each side during this surgery. Your surgeon may typically reconnect the healthy colon or rectum performed in a minimally invasive manner. It can be either hemicolectomy or total colectomy.
- Lymph nodes are removed together with the colon.
Approach to Colectomy: Robotic /Open surgery / Laparoscopic Colectomy
Radiation therapy - Radiation therapy uses high-energy sources like X-rays and protons to destroy cancer cells and reduce large tumors before surgery. It is indicated for advanced colon cancer.
Immunotherapy - It improves your immune system. For example, cancer cells release proteins that prevent immune cells from recognizing cancer. It is indicated for stage IV cancer / Recurrent colon cancer.
Expected Prognosis of Colon Cancer
Overall, persons with colon cancer have a 5-year survival rate of 63%, and the survival rate is 91% if the cancer is detected early. The 5-year survival rate for cancer spread to nearby tissues or organs is 72%.
Primary Prevention of Colon Cancer
Changes in diet may help prevent colorectal cancer. Diets low in animal fats and rich in fruits vegetables, and recommended whole grains to minimize the risk of chronic diseases including heart disease and diabetes.
Some supplements and medicines may help prevent colon cancer. For example, according to the US Preventive Services Task Force, taking low-dose aspirin may help prevent cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer in certain individuals.
According to certain studies, increasing physical activity, limiting alcohol use, and avoiding tobacco may help lower the risk of colon cancer.
- Eat more plant-based foods.
Eating more plant-based foods is one of the most significant ways to minimize your risk of colon cancer and reduce colon and other cancers by eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and healthy grains.
- If you smoke, try to quit
Smokers have a greater risk of colon cancer than non-smokers. Stopping smoking may lessen your risk of colon cancer.
Weight control is another way to reduce colon cancer risk.
Exercise regularly may help you reduce weight and avoid colon cancer. But, those aren't the only benefits. Exercise may also enhance your mood, mental health, and sleep.
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