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Overview

Colon Cancer is commonly called as a Colorectal Cancer. The Colon is also known as Large Intestine and it is the final part of the digestive tract. Main function of colon is to remove water, salt and some nutrients to form stool. Colon cancer develops in the large intestine. Colon and Rectal cancer are similar type of cancers.

Colon Cancer occurs when cells in the colon develop mutations in their DNA. These mutations cause cells to grow rapidly and uncontrollably. This accumulation of cells finally forms a tumor. In most of the cases, Colon cancer begin as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called as Adenomatous Polyps but over the time some of these polyps become Colon cancer. If Colon cancer is not treated on time then it spreads to nearby organs. This is one of the most complex types of cancer.

Symptoms of Colon Cancer

Most of the patients do not experience any specific symptoms at the early stage. Common symptoms of Colon Cancer include:

  • A change in bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of stool that lasts longer than four weeks
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort such as cramps, gas or pain
  • A feeling that bowel doesn’t empty completely
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

Causes of Colon Cancer

Changes in DNA of the cells or inherited gene mutations increase the risk of Colon cancer. The most common forms of inherited colon cancer syndromes are:

  • Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC): HNPCC is also called a Lynch syndrome. It increases the risk of Rectum and Colon cancer. People with HNPCC always have a higher risk of developing rectum and colon cancer before age 50.
  • Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP): FAP is a rare disorder that causes development of thousands of polyps in the lining of colon and rectum. People with untreated FAP always have a higher risk of developing colon cancer before age 40.

Risk factors for Colon Cancer

An unhealthy lifestyle can increase the risk of Colon cancer. Major risk factors include:

  • Older age
  • Family history of colorectal cancer or polyps
  • Inflammatory bowel disease like crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
  • Genetic syndromes such as FAP and HNPCC
  • Dietary factors
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

Prevention of Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is preventable by adapting healthy lifestyle. Important steps include:

  • Eating healthy fruits, vegetable and whole grains
  • Avoiding smoking and alcohol
  • Maintaining healthy weight
  • Performing daily physical exercises.

Diagnosis of Colon Cancer

Early diagnosis of any cancer is always helpful to cure cancer completely. Various diagnosis methods include:

  • Colonoscopy: This is the most accurate test used to view inside the colon.
  • Biopsy: In Biopsy test small amount of tissue is removed to examine under the microscope.
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC): This test is done to analyze different types of cells in blood.
  • Molecular Testing of the Tumor: This test is used to identify specific genes, proteins and other unique factors of the tumor. Doctor can decide most effective treatment option based on the reports of this test.
  • Imaging test: Major imaging tests include CT scan and MRI scans. These tests provide detailed image of organs and also used to determine extent of cancer infections in the body.

Treatment of Colon Cancer

Colon Cancer treatment is mainly depending on the type, stage and health conditions of patient. Colon cancer needs more than one treatment type. Colon cancer treatments are same as that of the other cancer treatment methods which mainly include:

Surgery:

The main goal of Colon Cancer surgery is to prevent growth of cancerous cells. Cancer Surgeon decides surgery depending on the type and stage of cancer. Surgery is performed to remove cancerous polyps which are formed in the Colon.

During Colonoscopy, doctor removes polyps in a very early stage. In endoscopic mucosal resection procedure, doctor removes larger polyps. If polyps are difficult to remove by colonoscopy method then doctor performs minimally invasive surgery to remove polyps.

In case of cancer spreads in the colon then cancer surgeon performs partial colectomy to remove cancer affected part of the colon.

Radiation Therapy:

Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy beams from sources such as X-rays and protons to kill cancer cells. If surgery is not an option then Cancer Surgeon performs combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy as a primary treatment.

Chemotherapy:

In Chemotherapy treatment, powerful drugs are used to kill cancerous cells. Chemotherapy is often used after the surgery to kill any cancer cells that remained in the body. It can be used alone or combined with radiation therapy.

Other important treatment options:

Various major treatment types include Targeted drug therapy, Immunotherapy, and palliative care. These therapies are mainly used to relieve pain and stop the growth of colon cancer.

Colon Cancer is preventable and curable. Today various advanced treatments are developed to cure and control Colon cancer. Specialty Surgical Oncology Hospital strictly follows all the medical standards for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer.

SSO Hospital is well equipped with advanced medical technology to provide world-class treatments to all types of cancer patients.

If you have colon cancer, and you are looking for a colon cancer treatment, then you can consult Dr. Praveen Kumar. He is one of the best colon cancer doctors in Mumbai.

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