Colorectal cancer is cancer that affects the last segment of the large intestine called the colon and the rectum that connects to the anus. Colorectal cancer can be benign appearing as small clumps of cells, or non-cancerous, or malignant.
Symptoms of Colorectal cancer
Symptoms of colorectal cancer include:
Causes of Colorectal cancer
Mutation or genetic defects in the cells surrounding the colon is the major causes of colorectal cancer. The variation in the genetic material of the cell leads to rapid growth and cell division and the newly formed cells cluster to form polyps or tumors. The tumor cells live longer than the normal healthy cells and affect the normal functioning of the cell. Over time the cancer cells grow to invade and destroy surrounding normal tissue and travel to other parts of the body. Inherited gene mutations can be passed through generations and the most common forms of inherited colorectal syndromes are:
Other cause for the development of colorectal cancer includes an unhealthy diet high in fat and low in fiber.
Diagnosing colorectal cancer
The doctor diagnoses colorectal cancer by certain tests colonoscopy, blood tests, biopsy and carcinoembryonic antigen or CEA. Once the cancer cells are confirmed the doctor stages cancer into:
Stage I. The cancer grows through the superficial lining of the colon and rectum.
Stage II. Cancer has grown into or through the wall of the colon and rectum
Stage III. Cancer has invaded nearby lymph nodes.
Stage IV. Cancer has spread to distant areas.
Treatment for colorectal cancer
The type of treatment depends on the stage of colorectal cancer and the treatment methods include:
Surgery: At early stages of cancer and for benign polys, the surgeon performs following methods to remove them from the body.
Colonoscopy: A small, localized polyp is removed during a colonoscopy.
Endoscopic mucosal resection: Larger polyps and a small amount of the lining of the colon and rectum are removed.
Laparoscopic surgery: Minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery is performed to remove distantly located polys and tumors from the body.
Laparoscopic Partial Colectomy: for advanced stages of colorectal cancer the surgeon performs a partial colectomy to remove parts of the colon and rectum that is affected by cancer, along with a margin of normal tissue. Next, the surgeon reconnects the healthy portions of the intestine and rectum. The surgery is also performed to remove any blockage in the intestine.
Ostomy: Ostomy is a surgical procedure performed when the healthy portions of the colon and rectum are not able to reconnect. The surgeon creates an opening in the wall of the abdomen called as a stoma from a portion of the remaining intestine. The new passage acts as a pouch to collect waste and is eliminated from the body.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses strong chemicals intravenously or in the form of capsules to kill the cancer cells. Chemotherapy is used before or after the surgery depending on the stage of cancer. Chemotherapy helps reduce the risk of cancer recurrence and relieve symptoms and pain from the body.
Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses powerful high beams of energy sources to kill cancer cells or to shrink large tumors to easily remove them from the body. Radiation therapy is performed alone or in combination with chemotherapy to manage of colorectal cancer.
Targeted drug therapy: this therapy includes drugs that target specific malfunctions and suppress the growth of cancer cells. These drugs are administered along with chemotherapy.
Supportive (palliative) care: Palliative care team consists of surgeon, nurses and other specially trained doctors to provide an extra layer of support and care that complements the ongoing treatment with other elements such as symptom management to improve the comfort and well-being state of the patient.
At Kims hospital we provide latest and effective colorectal cancer treatments from well qualified and experienced specialist’s and doctors with care and compassion. To know more about colorectal cancer treatments and treatment cost, book an appointment now.