Colon Rectal Cancer Treatment at World Class Hospitals in India
Colorectal cancer is a term used to refer to cancer that starts in the colon or rectum. Colon and rectal cancers begin in the digestive system, also called the GI (gastrointestinal) system. This is where food is processed to create energy and rid the body of solid waste matter (stool).
After food is chewed and swallowed, it travels down to the stomach. There it is partly broken down and sent to the small intestine. The word “small” refers to the width of the small intestine. The small intestine is really the longest part of the digestive system. It is about 20 feet long.
The small intestine continues breaking down the food and absorbs most of the nutrients. The small intestine joins the large intestine (also called the large bowel or colon), a muscular tube about five feet long. The first part of the colon absorbs water and nutrients from the food and also serves as a storage place for waste matter. The waste matter moves from the colon into the rectum, the last 6 inches of the digestive system. From there the waste passes out of the body through the opening called the anus.
The following are the most common symptoms of Colorectal Cancer: –
- A change in bowel habits-such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool-that lasts for more than a few days.
- Bright red or very dark blood in the stool.
- Discomfort in the stomach area, such as frequent gas pain, cramps, and feelings of being full or bloated.
- Constant weakness and fatigue.
- Jaundice – yellowing of the skin and eyes.
- Weight loss for no known reason.
Staging of Colon Cancer is important to decide the best treatment plan
Once you’ve been diagnosed with colon cancer, your doctor will order tests to determine the extent (stage) of your cancer. Staging helps determine what treatments are most appropriate for you.
Staging tests may include imaging procedures such as abdominal, pelvic and chest CT scans. In many cases, the stage of your cancer may not be determined until after colon cancer surgery.
The stages of Colon Rectal Cancer are:
- Stage I. The cancer has grown through the superficial lining (mucosa) of the colon or rectum but hasn’t spread beyond the colon wall or rectum.
- Stage II. The cancer has grown into or through the wall of the colon or rectum but hasn’t spread to nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage III. The cancer has invaded nearby lymph nodes but isn’t affecting other parts of your body yet.
- Stage IV. The cancer has spread to distant sites, such as other organs — for instance, to your liver or lung.
Treatment options for Colon Cancer available at our World Class hospitals in India
- Surgery for invasive colon cancer
Partial colectomy. During this procedure, the surgeon removes the part of your colon that contains the cancer, along with a margin of normal tissue on either side of the cancer. Your surgeon is often able to reconnect the healthy portions of your colon or rectum. This procedure can commonly be done by a minimally invasive approach (laparoscopy).
- Surgery for advanced cancer
If your cancer is very advanced or your overall health very poor, your surgeon may recommend an operation to relieve a blockage of your colon or other conditions in order to improve your symptoms. This surgery isn’t done to cure cancer, but instead to relieve signs and symptoms, such as bleeding and pain.
In specific cases where the cancer has spread only to the liver but your overall health is otherwise good, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the cancerous lesion from your liver.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy for colon cancer is usually given after surgery if the cancer has spread to lymph nodes.
- Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy uses powerful energy sources, such as X-rays, to kill cancer cells, to shrink large tumors before an operation so that they can be removed more easily
- Targeted drug therapy
Drugs that target specific malfunctions that allow cancer cells to grow are available to people with advanced colon cancer.
Some patients with advanced colon cancer have a chance to benefit from immunotherapy with antibodies.
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