Colon Cancer - Symptoms, Stages, Treatment

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Colon Cancer - Symptoms, Stages, Treatment
Colon Cancer - Symptoms, Stages, Treatment

Video: Colon Cancer - Symptoms, Stages, Treatment

Video: Colon Cancer - Symptoms, Stages, Treatment
Video: Colon Cancer: Pathology, Symptoms, Screening, Cause and Risk Factors, Animation 2023, December

Colon cancer

General characteristics of the disease

Colon cancer development
Colon cancer development

The term "colon cancer" or "colorectal" cancer is usually understood as a malignant tumor located in one of the parts of the large intestine: the cecum, colon or rectum, as well as on the anal canal. Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers in developed countries. More often colon cancer occurs only oncology of the mammary glands, lungs and stomach.

The causes of colon cancer include a number of combined factors, from chronic bowel disease to dietary errors and heredity. At risk are patients in whose family cases of colon cancer have already been diagnosed or people with a large amount of meat in the diet. In countries with widespread traditions of vegetarianism, in Central Africa, India, etc., colon cancer is much less common.

The risk of developing colon cancer is higher in people with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, or colorectal polyps. Colon cancer signs are more commonly diagnosed in older people over 60 years of age. With chronic bowel disease for more than 20 years, the chance of developing colon cancer is approximately 30%.

Colon cancer symptoms

The most typical symptoms of colon cancer include abnormalities in stool, blood in the stool, pulling pain in the abdomen, and false urge to empty the bowel (tenesmus).

Blood in bowel movements is a symptom of bowel cancer in almost all patients with this disease. Determining the presence of blood in stool is often possible only with the help of a special test for occult blood in the stool. Outwardly, the disease can manifest itself as pale skin and a feeling of weakness.

Explicit scarlet bloody intestinal discharge is a common symptom of colon cancer with localization in the anal canal or rectum. Impurities of dark blood and mucus in stool are considered a sign of colon cancer.

For the later stages of colon cancer, another significant symptom is characteristic: colon cancer is complicated by a feeling of incomplete emptying of the intestines, and later by intestinal obstruction. Signs of complicated colon cancer include ascites (accumulation of fluid in the peritoneum) and hepatomegaly (a sharp increase in the size of the liver). Intestinal perforation at the site of the tumor is also possible, requiring urgent surgical treatment.

Colon cancer stages

There are several classifications of colon cancer. The most famous of them is the isolation of the stages of colon cancer, depending on the degree of tumor spread and metastases.

Stage I colon cancer is a single tumor located on the mucous membrane and in the submucosa of the intestine. Colon cancer stage II is characterized by tumor localization within half of the intestinal circumference. For this stage of the disease, another sign of colon cancer is also allowed: either a violation of the integrity of the intestinal wall by a tumor, or the presence of metastases in nearby lymph nodes. Both of these symptoms of colon cancer occur in stage III of colon cancer. Extensive tumor size and multiple metastases to distant organs are a sign of stage IV colon cancer.

Different types of colon cancer are also differentiated by the direction of tumor growth and its histological structure. The type and stage of colon cancer are determined at the preoperative stage and also during the intraoperative bowel revision.

Colon Cancer Diagnosis

Colon cancer screening
Colon cancer screening

The initial diagnosis of colon cancer is made on the basis of patient complaints and a digital rectal examination in the proctologist's office. Laboratory and instrumental diagnostic methods for colon cancer include sigmoidoscopy, blood and feces tests, colonoscopy, irrigoscopy and ultrasound of the pelvic organs. The last step in diagnosing colon cancer is a biopsy of the tumor.

Due to the prevalence of the disease, any intestinal symptomatology in people over 50 years old is considered as one of the probable signs of colon cancer. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the formidable diagnosis is not confirmed, and the patient is diagnosed with ulcerative colitis or colon polyps.

Upon confirmation of the preliminary diagnosis, a patient with colon cancer is sent for computed tomography to determine the prevalence of metastases to other organs.

Colon cancer treatment

The main method of treatment for colon cancer is surgical with complete removal of the tumor and foci of metastasis. The success of radical treatment of colon cancer depends on the stage of the disease, as well as on the correct preparation of the patient for the operation, the principles of its implementation and the characteristics of the course of the postoperative period.

Before surgery, a patient with colon cancer is prescribed a slag-free diet and a course of bowel cleansing procedures using enemas, lavage and laxatives. These measures help to maximize aseptic treatment for colon cancer. The last stage in the treatment of colon cancer after resection of the affected area of the intestine is the formation of an anastomosis - the connection of the remaining parts of the intestine. This restores the natural passage of the intestinal contents.

In intestinal tumors with metastases to distant lymph nodes and organs, the treatment of colon cancer is not radical, but symptomatic to prevent the development of acute intestinal obstruction and reduce pain. If it is impossible to completely remove the tumor in a patient with colon cancer, a colostomy is formed. It allows you to evacuate the contents of the intestine bypassing the organ affected by the tumor. Local and general chemoradiation effects on the tumor and metastases are also part of the comprehensive treatment of colon cancer.

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The information is generalized and provided for informational purposes only. At the first sign of illness, see your doctor. Self-medication is hazardous to health!