Definition:

Colon cancer: It is also known as bowel cancer and colorectal cancer. It is the formation of cancer in the colon or rectum. Cancer is the development and spread of abnormal cells.

Symptoms:

The signs and symptoms depend on the staging of cancer, the size of cancer tissue, and the site of cancer. In the early stages of cancer, many people may either be asymptomatic or have minor symptoms.

Early signs include:

  • An unexpected weight loss
  • Narrow stools
  • Rectal bleeding or bloody stools
  • Tenesmus – A feeling that your bowel needs to be emptied but nothing passes
  • Anemia
  • Abdominal discomfort or pain

Local symptoms include:

  • A change in bowel habits such as constipation and diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding or bloody stools
  • Abdominal discomfort or cramps or bloating
  • Tenesmus
  • Thinner stools

Systemic symptoms include:

  • Feeling weak
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Unexpected appetite loss
  • Jaundice
  • Anemia

 

Colorectal cancer treatment:

The treatment depends on the staging of cancer and its location. The treatments for colon cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.

  • Early-stage colon cancer:
  • Polypectomy: The removal of polyps during colonoscopy. It is used for small and localized polyps.
  • Endoscopic mucosal resection: The removal of larger polyps during a colonoscopy and also, the removal of a small portion of the inner lining of the colon.
  • Laparoscopic surgery: It is used for polyps that cannot be removed with a colonoscopy.
  • Surgery for more advanced colon cancer:
  • Partial colectomy: The removal of a portion of the colon that consists of cancer and a margin of normal tissue.
  • Open colectomy
  • Laparoscopic colectomy
  • Colostomy: An opening created to remove waste from the body.
  • Radiofrequency ablation or cryoablation: The use of radiofrequency waves to heat cancer or use cryoablation to freeze cancer.
  • Lymph node removal
  • Radiotherapy: The use of X-rays and protons to kill cancer cells. The types include such as external-beam radiation therapy, stereotactic radiation therapy, brachytherapy, intraoperative radiation therapy, and neoadjuvant therapy.
  • Chemotherapy: The use of drugs to kill cancer cells. Some of the drugs include Capecitabine, Fluorouracil, Oxaliplatin, and Irinotecan.
  • Immunotherapy: Drugs that utilize the immune system to destroy cancer. Some of the drugs include Pembrolizumab, Nivolumab, and Nivolumab and ipilimumab combination.
  • Targeted drug therapy: Drugs that aim at abnormalities of cancer cells. It is usually used for advanced colon cancer. The common therapies include Bevacizumab, Regorafenib, Cetuximab, and Panitumumab.
  • Combination of chemotherapy and targeted drug therapy.
  • Palliative care: Used to relieve symptoms.

The treatment according to the cancer stage:

Stage 0: The removal of a polyp or partial colectomy.

Stage 1: Partial colectomy and removal of lymph nodes.

Stage 2: Partial colectomy and removal of lymph nodes. Adjuvant chemotherapy may be recommended.

Stage 3: Partial colectomy, removal of lymph nodes, and adjuvant chemotherapy.

Stage 4: Surgery, removal of lymph nodes, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy.

For better diagnosis and treatment, consult the best proctologist in India to receive the best colorectal cancer treatment and anal cancer treatment at Shreyas Ano Rectal Hospital and Research Center (www.proctocure.com).