Colon And Rectal Cancer-Symptoms And Treatments!

Colon cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the large intestine and spreads throughout the body (colon). The colon is the last section of the digestive system.

Rectal cancer is a condition in which cancerous cells develop in the rectum’s tissue. Rectal cancer risk is influenced by age and family history.

What Is Colon And Rectal Cancer

Colon cancer is more common in older people, although it may strike anybody at any age. It typically starts as polyps, which are tiny, noncancerous (benign) collections of cells that develop within the colon. Some of these polyps may turn into colon cancer over time.

A change in bowel habits or blood in the stool is a sign of rectal cancer. Rectal cancer is detected and diagnosed with tests that check the rectum or colon. Rectal cancer is a condition in which malignant (cancerous) cells develop in the rectum.

Colon And Rectal Cancer-Symptoms And Treatments

Colon Cancer symptoms

The signs and symptoms of colon cancer are sometimes unclear. A variety of diseases may cause the signs and symptoms. When cancer is discovered early on, it may not have produced any symptoms. However, there are symptoms that you should not ignore

  • Bleeding in the stool
  • Dark-colored stool
  • Change in stool consistency
    • Constipation
    • Diarrhea
    • Narrow stools

The Symptoms may vary depending on where the tumor is situated inside the colon.

Diagnosis

Colorectal cancer may be diagnosed using several tests. This disease may be identified if you exhibit symptoms or your caregiver notices anything abnormal during a screening test.

Colon cancer is detected using a variety of tests. Although a colonoscopy is the most common procedure, there are choices. The following are some of the most frequent screening tests:

  • Physical screening
  • Digital colon exam
  • Fecal occult blood test
  • Barium enema examination
  • Sigmoidoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Biopsy

Treatment

Colon cancer treatment is dependent on several variables. Your doctor will create a treatment plan based on your general health and the stage of your colorectal cancer.

Surgery

Your surgeon may be able to remove malignant polyps via surgery in the early stages of colon cancer. If the polyp has not adhered to the intestinal wall, your prognosis is likely to be good.

Your surgeon may need to remove a piece of your colon or rectum, as well as any nearby lymph nodes if your cancer has progressed into your intestinal walls. Your surgeon will reconnect the remaining healthy part of the colon to the rectum if it is feasible.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is when medicines are used to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy is frequently given following surgery for individuals with colorectal cancer to eliminate any remaining malignant cells. Chemotherapy may help slow the progression of cancers.

Radiation

Before and after surgery, radiation uses an intense energy beam similar to that used in X-rays to target and kill malignant cells. Radiation treatment is often used in conjunction with chemotherapy.

Rectal Cancer Signs and Symptoms

The following are the common signs that should not be ignored when it comes to rectal cancer

  • Changes in habits-diarrhea, constipation, a sensation that the bowels do not empty, stool that is smaller or has a different shape than normal
  • Abdominal discomfort-frequent gas pains, cramps, and other symptoms
  • A change in appetite
  • Weight loss for no apparent cause
  • Exhaustion

Diagnosis

Rectal cancer may be diagnosed through screening tests. It may also be suspected as a result of your symptoms. The following tests and methods are used to diagnose rectal cancer:

Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy is a procedure that involves seeing your colon and rectum using a long, flexible tube (colonoscope) connected to a video camera and monitor. If cancer is discovered in your rectum, your doctor may suggest that you have your colon examined to see if there are any more worrisome regions.

Biopsy

If any worrisome regions are discovered, your doctor may use surgical instruments to collect tissue samples (biopsies) for testing and remove polyps using the colonoscope.

The tissue sample is transported to a lab, where it will be examined by specialists who specialize in blood and bodily tissue analysis. Tests can tell whether the cells are cancerous, how aggressive they are, and which genes in the cancer cells are aberrant. Your doctor uses this information to determine your prognosis and treatment choices.

Further tests

The further test for diagnosing rectal cancer are as follows

Complete Blood Count 

The amount of various kinds of cells in your blood is determined by this test. A complete blood count (CBC) determines if your red blood cell count is low (anemia), indicating that a tumor is causing blood loss. Many white blood cells indicate infection, which may occur if a rectal tumor develops through the rectum’s wall.

Organ function assessment through blood testing

Some of these substances may have abnormal levels, indicating that cancer has progressed to the liver. Other compounds in high concentrations may suggest issues with other organs, such as the kidneys.

Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a carcinoembryonic antigen

Tumor markers are chemicals produced by cancers that may be identified in the blood. One such marker, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), may be more significant than usual in individuals with colorectal cancer. CEA testing may help you track how well you’re responding to treatment.

A chest CT scan

This imaging examination is used to see whether rectal cancer has spread to other organs like the liver or lungs.

 MRI

An MRI shows the muscles, organs, and other tissues around a tumor in the rectum in great detail. The lymph nodes surrounding the rectum and various layers of tissue in the rectal wall are also visible on an MRI.

Treatment

Rectal cancer is often treated with a mix of treatments. Surgery is performed to remove cancer cells wherever feasible. After surgery, additional therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be used to eliminate any remaining cancer cells and decrease the chance of cancer recurrence.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer is a kind of cancer of the colon and rectum that starts with precancerous polyps in the colon and rectum’s lining.

What is a polyp?

Polyps are mushroom-like growths that develop when the cells lining the colon divide, multiply and reproduce in an unhealthy, chaotic manner. Over time, polyps may become malignant, infiltrating the colon wall and adjacent blood vessels and spreading to other areas of the body.

What causes colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer’s precise origin is unclear, although it seems to be caused by both hereditary and lifestyle factors. Cigarette smoking, lack of physical activity, and obesity are all variables that may raise the disease’s risk.

How common is colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer is the third most prevalent cancer and the second most significant cause of death from cancer. More than 56,000 Americans will die of colorectal cancer this year, with over 140,000 new cases being identified.

Who is at risk for colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer is nearly equally likely to strike men and women over the age of 50. Colorectal cancer or polyps are more likely to occur in those with a personal or family history of the illness.

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