Colon cancer begins when normal cells in the lining of the colon or rectum change and grow uncontrollably, forming a mass called a tumor. A tumor can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous, meaning it can spread to other parts of the body). These changes usually take years to develop; however, when a person has an uncommon inherited syndrome, changes can occur within months to years. Both genetic and environmental factors can cause the changes. Colon Cancer initially starts in the lining of the bowel and if left untreated, can grow into the muscle layers underneath, and then through the bowel wall. Cancers that are confined within the wall of the colon are often curable with surgery. In more advanced stages Chemotherapy is helpful in extending the person life and improving quality of life.
Causes of colon cancer?
Risk factors for colorectal disease include old age, a history of colitis or Crohn’s disease, a family history of the cancer, and smoking. Some studies have also linked diets high in animal fat, and low in fruits, vegetables and fibre to an increased risk.
Blood in stool -This is the main sign of colon cancer as well as for other types of cancer. Dark patches or blood in stool or on it is the main sign of colon cancer.
Anaemia -Blood in stool translates to loss of blood in your body. This will result in lack of blood, which means anaemia is another sign of colon cancer. Anaemia in colon cancer patients needs to be improved to fight cancer and increase survival chances. Fatigue -Fatigue is one sign that affects most of us, but that doesn’t imply that we all have colon cancer. If you feel fatigue accompanied by other signs of colon cancer then you should be worried.
Weight loss -Along with anaemia and fatigue, colon cancer patients will lose weight drastically. This weight loss is unexplained, but is also an important symptom. Significant weight loss over a few months without any apparent cause, i.e. unexplained weight loss, can be one of the main warning signs that you might be suffering from cancer. Change in bowel movement -This can be an agonising problem; change in bowel movement means you have to change your eating habits, which includes that you may have to skip on certain favourite food. Change in bowel movement simply means you may experience constipation, diarrhea, a sense that your bowel is not empty, rectal cramping, urgency to visit the washroom.
Obesity – Obesity has been identified as a risk factor for colon cancer.
The primary treatment of colon cancer is to surgically remove part or all of your colon. Suggestive polyps, if few in number, may be removed during colonoscopy. Chemotherapy after surgery can prolong survival for people whose cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
Radiation treatment after surgery does not help people with colon cancer, but it does prolong survival for people with rectal cancer.
- Given before surgery, radiation may reduce tumor size. This can improve the chances that the tumor will be removed successfully.
- Radiation before surgery also appears to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back after treatment.
Advantages of Minimal Invasive Laparoscopic Colon Cancer Surgery
Minimally invasive surgical techniques to treat a wide range of colorectal problems. From removing cancerous growths to treating inflammatory bowel disease, our team of expert surgeons are performing advanced procedures through multiple small incisions (less than one inch), and in some cases, without any incisions at all.
The benefits of minimally invasive colorectal surgery versus open-abdominal procedures include:
- Less pain
- Less injury to tissue
- Minimal scarring
- Less blood loss
- Shorter hospital stay
- Faster return to normal activities
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