Colon cancer - General medical informations
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Friday, January 18, 2019

Colon cancer

        Colon cancer places esophageal cancer is a cancer of the large intestine (colon), that is the last portion of the digestive tract. Most cases of colon cancer start as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells known as adenomatous polyps. Over time a number of these polyps can become colon cancer.

 Polyps may be modest and produce few, if any, symptoms. Because of this, doctors recommend regular screening tests to help prevent colon cancer by identifying and removing polyps before they become cancer.


Signs and symptoms of colon cancer include:

-A change in your bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool, which lasts more than four months

-Rectal bleeding or blood in your feces

-Persistent abdominal distress, like cramps, pain or gas.

-A feeling your bowel does not empty completely.

-Weakness or tiredness.

-Unexplained weight loss.

 Lots of individuals with colon cancer experience no symptoms at the first phases of this illness. When symptoms appear, they will likely change, depending on the cancer's size and place on your large intestine.

 When to see a doctor ?

If you see any signs of colon cancer, for example blood in your stool or a continuing change in bowel habits, don't be afraid to make an appointment with your physician. Speak with your doctor about when you should start screening for colon cancer. Guidelines generally urge that colon cancer screenings start at age 50. Your physician may recommend more frequent or earlier screening should you have other risk factors, like a family history of this illness.


 In the majority of situations, it is not clear what causes colon cancer. Doctors understand that colon cancer happens when healthy cells from the colon create mistakes in their hereditary pattern, the DNA.
 Healthy cells grow and divide in an orderly way to keep your system working normally. However, if a cell's DNA is damaged and becomes cancerouscells continue to divide -- even when new cells are not needed. Since the cells collect, they form a tumor.
With time, the cancer cells may develop to invade and destroy normal tissues near. And cancerous cells may travel to other areas of the human body to form residue there (metastasis).

 Inherited gene mutations that increase the chance of colon cancer 

Inherited gene mutations that increase the chance of colon cancer may be passed through households, but these inherited genes have been connected to just a small fraction of colon cancer.
 Inherited gene mutations do not make cancer but they can raise someone's risk of cancer considerably.
 The most common forms of inherited colon cancer syndromes are:

 -Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). HNPCC, also known as Lynch syndrome, raises the chance of colon cancer and other cancers. Individuals with HNPCC have a tendency to develop colon cancer before age 50.

-Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). FAP is a rare disease which causes one to build tens of thousands of polyps from the lining of the colon and anus. Individuals with untreated FAP have a considerably increased chance of developing colon cancer before age 40.

 FAP, HNPCC along with other, sexier inherited colon cancer syndromes could be discovered through genetic testing. If you are worried about your family's history of colon cancer, speak with your physician about if your family history indicates you've got a danger of those ailments.

Association between diet and increased colon cancer hazard

 Studies of large groups of individuals have demonstrated an association between a standard Western diet and a higher risk of colon cancer. A standard Western diet is high in fat and low in fiber.
 If folks move from regions where the normal diet is low in fat and high in fiber into regions in which the normal Western diet is the most common, the chance of colon cancer in these individuals increases appreciably. It is not clear why this happens, however, researchers are analyzing whether or not a high fat, low-fiber diet impacts the microbes which reside in the colon or triggers underlying inflammation which may promote cancer risk. This is a place of active research and investigation is continuing.

 Risk factors:

 Factors which might increase your risk of colon cancer include:

 -old age. The excellent majority of individuals diagnosed with colon cancer are older than 50. Colon cancer may occur in younger individuals, but it happens less often.

-African-American race. African-Americans have a increased chance of colon cancer compared to individuals of different races.

-A personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps. If you have already had colon cancer or adenomatous polyps, you have a increased chance of colon cancer later on.

- Inflammatory intestinal ailments. Chronic inflammatory disorders of the colon, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, can increase your risk of colon cancer.

- Inherited syndromes. that raise colon cancer risk. Genetic syndromes passed through generations of your family members can boost your risk of colon cancer. These syndromes include familial adenomatous polyposis and hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, which is also called Lynch syndrome.

- Family history of colon cancer. You are more likely to develop colon cancer when you've got a parent, sibling or child with this illness. If more than 1 relative has colon cancer or rectal cancer, your risk is much greater.

- Low-fiber, high-fat diet. Colon cancer and rectal cancer might be related to a diet low in fiber and high in calories and fat. Research in this field has had mixed effects. A number of studies have found an elevated risk of colon cancer in people who consume foods high in red meat and processed meat.

- A sedentary lifestyle. If you are inactive, you are more likely to develop colon cancer. Getting regular physical activity may lower your risk of colon cancer.

- Diabetes. Individuals with diabetes and insulin resistance have an elevated risk of colon cancer.

- Obesity. Individuals that are obese have a higher chance of colon cancer and a higher chance of dying of colon cancer in comparison with individuals considered normal weight.

-Smoking. Individuals who smoke may have an elevated risk of colon cancer.

-Alcohol. Substantial use of alcohol increases your risk of colon cancer.

-Radiation treatment for cancer. Radiation therapy directed at the stomach to take care of preceding cancers increases the risk of rectal and colon cancer.


 Get screened for colon cancer

 Individuals with a mean risk of colon cancer may think about screening starting at age 50. But individuals with an elevated risk, like those having a family history of colon cancer, should look at screening earlier. Several screening choices exist each with its own advantages and drawbacks. Speak about your choices with your physician, and together you can decide which tests are acceptable for you.

 Make lifestyle changes to lower your risk.

 It's possible to take action to lessen your risk of colon cancer by creating adjustments in your daily life. Take actions to:

 -Eat many different fruits, veggies and whole grains. Fruits, veggies and whole grains include minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and fiber, which might play a part in cancer prevention. Choose many different fruits and veggies so you obtain a range of vitamins and nourishment.

Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. If you decide to drink alcohol, limit the amount of alcohol that you drink to no more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 for men.

-stop smoking. Speak with your doctor about how you can give up that will work for you.

 -Exercise most days of this week. Try to have at least 30 minutes of exercise most days. If you have been inactive, start slowly and build up slowly to half an hour. Additionally, speak with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.

 -Keep a wholesome weight. If you're at a wholesome weight, then work to keep your weight by combining a healthy diet with daily exercise. Should you have to shed weight, ask your physician about healthful ways to attain your objective. Aim to shed weight gradually by increasing the amount of exercise you get and lessening the amount of calories you consume.

 Colon cancer treatment for individuals who have a high threat 

Some medicines are found to decrease the risk of precancerous polyps or colon cancer. But insufficient evidence exists to recommend these drugs to individuals who have an average risk of colon cancer.
 These choices are usually reserved for those who have a high risk of colon cancer. For example, some evidence links a decreased risk of polyps and colon cancer to frequent use of aspirin or aspirin-like drugs. Nevertheless, it is not clear what dosage and what period of time will be necessary to decrease the possibility of colon cancer.Taking aspirin every day has several risks, such as gastrointestinal bleeding and nausea, so physicians typically do not suggest this because of a prevention plan unless you've got an elevated risk of colon cancer.


Screening for colon cancer:

Doctors advocate certain screening tests to healthy individuals without any symptoms or signs so as to search for early colon cancer. Locating colon cancer during its earliest phase provides the best opportunity for a cure. Screening has been proven to lower your chance of dying of colon cancer.

Individuals with a normal risk of colon cancer may think about screening starting at age 50. But individuals with an elevated risk, like those having a family history of colon cancer, should look at screening earlier. African-Americans and American Indians might think about starting colon cancer screening at age 45.

Several screening choices exist each with its own advantages and drawbacks. Speak about your choices with your physician, and together you can decide which tests are acceptable for you. When a colonoscopy is used for screening, polyps may be removed through the process before they become cancer.

Diagnosing colon cancer

If your symptoms and signs indicate you might have colon cancer, your Physician may recommend a couple of tests and procedures, for example:

    -Employing a range to examine the inside of your colon. Colonoscopy uses a long, elastic and slim tube attached to a video camera and monitor to see your whole colon and rectum. If any suspicious areas are present, your physician can pass operative tools through the tubing to take tissue samples (biopsies) for diagnosis and also remove polyps.

    -Blood evaluations. No blood test can let you know in the event that you have colon cancer. However, your physician may check your blood to get clues about your general health, such as liver and kidney function tests.

    Your physician can also check your blood to get a compound occasionally generated by colon cancer (carcinoembryonic antigen or CEA). Tracked over time, the amount of CEA in your bloodstream can help your doctor understand your prognosis as to if your cancer is responding to therapy.

Staging colon cancer

As soon as you've been diagnosed with colon cancer, your doctor will order tests to ascertain the extent (stage) of your own cancer. Staging helps decide what therapies are appropriate for you.

Staging tests may include imaging processes like abdominal, pelvic and chest CT scans. Oftentimes, the period of your cancer might not be ascertained until after colon cancer surgery.

The stages of colon cancer are:

    -Stage I. The cancer has grown through the shallow lining (mucosa) of the colon or rectum but has not spread beyond the colon or anus.

    -Stage II. The cancer has turned into or through the walls of the colon or rectum but has not spread to nearby lymph nodes.

    -Stage III. The cancer has invaded neighboring lymph nodes but is not impacting different parts of the human body however.

    -Stage IV. The cancer has spread to remote sites, like other organs for example, to your lung or liver.


The kind of treatment your doctor recommends depends mostly on the stage of your cancer. The three main treatment options are surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

In the specialized Clinics, a multidisciplinary group of gastroenterologists, colon and rectal surgeons, oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, and pathologists collaborate into to take care of colon cancer. Other experts such as the ones trained in medical terminology, general surgery, gynecologic surgery or urologic surgery, are included as necessary.

Members of your maintenance staff spend some time getting to know you personally, so that they know what is important for you. The outcome is a treatment program which places you -- a exceptional person -- in the middle of all of the care you get.

Your own personal physician at these Clinics will work with you to examine your treatment choices and select the remedy that best fits your requirements and goals. The selection of treatments provided to individuals with rectal and colon cancer comprises chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation, concentrated treatment and many different surgeries, such as minimally invasive surgery and surgical operation.

The colon and rectal surgeons in these Clinic draw on years of accumulative experience healing colon cancer at a high-volume clinic. They concentrate in removal (resection) of complicated tumors affecting several structures and organs in the abdomen and pelvis.

Surgery for early-stage colon cancer

If your colon cancer Is Extremely small, your Physician can recommend a minimally invasive method of surgery, for example:

    -Eliminating polyps during a colonoscopy. If your cancer is small, localized and fully contained inside a polyp and at a really early phase, your physician might have the ability to eliminate it entirely during a colonoscopy.

   - Endoscopic mucosal resection. Eliminating larger polyps may necessitate too taking a small quantity of the lining of the colon or rectum in a process known as an endoscopic mucosal resection.

    -Minimally invasive operation. Polyps that can not be removed during a colonoscopy could be removed using laparoscopic operation. Within this process, your surgeon performs the surgery through several tiny incisions in your gut wall, integrating tools with attached cameras which show your colon onto a video screen. The surgeon can also take samples from lymph nodes in the region where the cancer is found.

Surgery for Invasive colon cancer

If the cancer has become or through your colon, your physician may recommend:

   -Partial colectomy. In this process, the physician removes the component of your colon which includes the cancer, together with a margin of normal tissue on either side of the cancer. Your physician is often able to reconnect the wholesome parts of your colon or rectum. This process can commonly be achieved by a minimally invasive strategy (laparoscopy).

  - Surgery to make a means for waste to leave your entire body. When it is impossible to reconnect the wholesome parts of your colon or rectum, you might require an ostomy. This involves making an opening in the walls of your stomach from some of the rest of the portion of the removal of feces into a tote that fits securely within the opening.

    On occasion the ostomy is just temporary, letting your colon or rectum time to heal after surgery. Sometimes, however, the colostomy may be permanent.

   -Lymph node removal. Nearby lymph nodes are often additionally eliminated during colon cancer operation and analyzed for cancer.

Surgery for advanced cancer

If a cancer is quite complex or your general health really poor, your physician may suggest an operation to relieve a blockage of your colon or other ailments so as to enhance your symptoms. This operation is not done to heal cancer, but rather to relieve symptoms and signs, such as pain and bleeding.

In certain instances where the cancer has spread only to the liver but your general health is otherwise great, your physician may recommend surgery to remove the cancerous lesion out of the liver. Chemotherapy may be utilized before or following this kind of operation. This strategy provides a opportunity to become free of cancer within the long run.


Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy for colon cancer is usually given after surgery when the cancer has spread to lymph nodes. This manner, chemotherapy can reduce the chance of cancer recurrence and death . Occasionally chemotherapy might be used before surgery also, with the aim of decreasing the cancer prior to a surgery. Chemotherapy before surgery is more prevalent in rectal cancer than in colon cancer.
Chemotherapy may also be given to alleviate symptoms of colon cancer which has spread into other regions of the human body.

Radiation treatment

Radiation therapy utilizes strong energy resources, like X-rays, to kill cancer cells, to shrink large tumors prior to a surgery so they may be eliminated more easily, or to alleviate symptoms of colon cancer and prostate cancer. Radiation treatment either alone or combined with chemotherapy is just one of the normal therapy choices for the initial control of rectal cancer accompanied by operation.

Targeted drug treatment

Drugs that target particular malfunctions that allow cancer cells to develop are accessible to individuals with advanced colon cancer, for example:

    Bevacizumab (Avastin)

    Cetuximab (Erbitux)

    Panitumumab (Vectibix)

    Ramucirumab (Cyramza)

    Regorafenib (Stivarga)

    Ziv-aflibercept (Zaltrap)

Targeted drugs could be given together with chemotherapy or independently. Targeted medications are usually reserved for those who have advanced colon cancer.

Some people are aided by targeted medication, while some aren't. Scientists have recently made progress in deciding who is most likely to gain from particular targeted drugs. Until more is known, physicians carefully consider the potential advantage of targeted drugs contrary to the danger of side effects and also the price when determining whether to use those remedies.


Some individuals with advanced colon cancer have an opportunity to benefit from immunotherapy with antibodies like pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and nivolumab (Opdivo). If it's the colon cancer gets the opportunity to react to those immunotherapies can be decided by a particular evaluation of the tumor cells.

Proton beam treatment

Among the latest radiation treatments available at Mayo Clinic from the Minnesota and Arizona places, proton beam treatment can benefit kids, young adults, and people with cancers situated near vital organs and body structures. Mayo Clinic's Proton Beam Treatment Program includes intensity-modulated proton beam treatment with pencil beam scanning enabling Mayo radiation oncologists to destroy cancer while preserving healthy tissue.

Supportive (palliative) care

Palliative care is specialized medical care which concentrates on providing relief from pain and other signs of a critical illness. Palliative care experts work together with youpersonally, your loved ones and your other physicians to supply an excess layer of service that matches your continuing care.

When palliative care is utilized together with all the other appropriate remedies, individuals with cancer might feel better and live longer.

Palliative care is offered by a group of physicians, nurses and other trained professionals. Palliative care groups aim to enhance the quality of life for those who have cancer and their families. This kind of care is given alongside curative or alternative treatments you might be receiving.

Dealing and support

A cancer diagnosis can be mentally challenging. With time, individuals learn how to deal in their own distinct ways. Until you discover what works for you personally, you may Attempt to:

    Know exactly what to expect. Learn more about your own cancer to feel comfortable making therapy choices.

   Consult your doctor to tell you that the type and stage of your cancer, in addition to your treatment choices and their side effects. The more you understand, the more assured you are going to be when it comes to making decisions about your care. Search for information on the regional library and on reputable sites.

    Maintain family and friends near. Maintaining your intimate relationships powerful can help you cope with cancer. Family and friends can offer the technical support you will want, like helping take care of your residence if you are at the clinic. And they are able to function as psychological support when you are feeling overwhelmed by cancer.

    Find someone to converse with. Locate a fantastic listener who's ready to hear you speak about your fantasies and fears. This might be a friend or relative. The concern and comprehension of a counselor, medical social worker, clergy member or cancer support team may also be useful.

    Consult your doctor about support groups in your town. Or check your telephone book, a cancer association, like the National Cancer Institute or the American Cancer Society.

Preparing to your appointment

If your doctor suspects you might have colon cancer, then you will probably be referred to experts who deal with colon cancer. You may meet a number of experts, such as a:

    Doctor Who treats gastrointestinal ailments (gastroenterologist)
    Doctor who treats cancer (oncologist)
    Doctor who eliminates colon cancer with operation (physician )
    Doctor who uses radiation to treat cancer (radiation oncologist)

Because appointments could be short, and as there's often a great deal of ground to cover, it is a fantastic thought to be more well-prepared. Here is some information that will assist you get prepared, and understand what to expect from the physician.

What you could perform

    -Be conscious of any pre-appointment limitations. In the moment you create the appointment, make sure you ask if there is anything you want to do beforehand, for example limit your diet plan.

    -Write down any symptoms you are experiencing, like any that might appear irrelevant to the cause of that you scheduled the appointment.

    -Write down crucial private info, like any significant stresses or current life changes.
    Create a list of medications, vitamins or nutritional supplements that you are taking.

    -Consider taking a relative or friend along. Occasionally it can be tough to take in all of the information provided during a scheduled appointment. Somebody who accompanies you might recall something which you forgot or missed.

    -Write down questions to ask your own physician.

Some fundamental questions to ask your doctor include:

    -Where's my colon cancer situated in my colon?

    -What is the point of the colon cancer?

    -Could you describe my pathology report to me personally?

    -Could I have a copy of my pathology report?

    -Has my colon cancer spread into other parts of the physique?

    -Can I need more tests?

    -What are the treatment choices for the colon cancer?

    -Will some of those remedies cure my colon cancer?

    -What's the possibility that my colon cancer will be treated?

    -Just how much can each treatment raise my odds that my colon cancer will be treated?

    -Which are the possible side effects of each treatment?

    -How will each treatment affect my everyday life?

    -Can there be one remedy you believe is ideal for me?

    -What would you recommend to your relative or friend in the same situation?

    -How long can I choose to make my decision about therapy?

    -Can I seek another opinion?

    -Can I see a specialist? What will that price, and will my insurance cover ?

    -Are there any exemptions or other printed material I can take with me? What sites would you recommend?

    -Can my grandparents or my kids have a higher risk of colon cancer?

Besides the queries which you have ready to ask your doctor, do not be afraid to ask questions during your consultation.

Things to expect from the physician

Your doctor is very likely to request a range of queries. Becoming prepared to answer them can allow time to pay different things that you need to tackle. Your Physician may ask:

   - When did you begin experiencing symptoms?

    -Have your symptoms been constant or intermittent?

    -How severe are the symptoms?

    -What, if anything, seems to boost your symptoms?

    -What, if anything, seems to worsen your symptoms?

    -Can you have a family history of colon cancer or other cancers?

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