Colon cancer is a tumor that develops from epithelial tissue. Said tissue covers completely all the internal organs. Even gastric mucosa includes epithelial tissue.
Colon cancer is more common in industrialized countries as, for example, Japan or United States. Men are more prone to colon cancer than women.
Usually, colon cancer happens in the elderly, but sometimes in young people too. At the beginning, there are no symptoms of the disease. Unstable stool is possible; sometimes it might alternate with prolonged constipation. Other symptoms of colon cancer are pain in the stomach, causing an ongoing discomfort, and exceeding winds. Presence of mucus / blood in the stool is also a sign of colon cancer. The last-mentioned symptom is caused by breakup of the tumor on the intestinal walls, that accompanied with erosion and other defects. Also, in case of cancer colon the feeling may occur that the bowels are not completely emptied. It happens due to the fact that the tumor grows and closes the intestine lumen.
Such indisposition as anemia, headache and reduced ability to work also could be the symptoms of colon cancer. Patient can have a pale look, weak nails, dry skin and brittle hair. Quite often, when having colon cancer, patients lose their appetite. This happens because the disease takes energy required for food intake and digestion.
Another symptom of colon cancer is a weight loss. When the disease is neglected, a significant weight reduction occurs due to the pathology. While having colon cancer, digestion becomes unstable. In place of the intestine mucosa, tumor grows, causing normal mucosa simply disappears. This leads the body does not absorb and assimilate nutrients. The visible sign of the process of tumor decay is significant and chronic loss of blood.
While cancer of the colon the tumor continuously breaks up. Abnormal cells travel with blood throughout the body. Cancerous tumor permanently evolves toxic components to blood. These components lead to poisoning of the body.
How diagnosis of colon cancer is performed? For example, it could be by using endoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy. This method examines the rectum with help of a flexible lit tube (sigmoidoscope) with a small lamp. Device, lubricated with vaseline or gel, is introduced into the anus. Using sigmoidoscopy, a doctor is able to see the larger image and notice even slight pathologic changes in the mucous. This method is very helpful for colon cancer revealing. Using this method you can remove polyps.
Colonoscopy is also used in diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The procedure is similar to sigmoidoscopy but not exactly the same. For colonoscopy a longer flexible tube is used, that is also equipped with a video camera. The image could be displayed directly on the monitor, that makes it easy to manipulate the device. The procedure is not pleasant, but it allows you to see the status of the entire colon.
Often, X-rays are used for diagnosis of colon cancer. A barium enema is applied as an intermediate agent. Enema administered white mush to the intestine and, then, it is possible to use the X-rays.
In the diagnosis of colon cancer, computed tomography can be used. To obtain a number of the layer-by-layer images X-rays are used. Usually, it is reasonable to resort to this method to examine liver or lung lesions.
Another method of diagnosis is MRI. This technique also makes it possible to receive the layered images, but using electromagnetic radiation. This method is safer than above mentioned, as there is no ionizing radiation in its base.
Another part of colon cancer diagnostics is a stool test for the presence of occult blood. Four days before the procedure, a patient is advised not to eat red beets, meat, fish and eggs.
To diagnose the disease, a blood test might be conducted. This test shows whether the patient has anemia, that could point to the fact that intestinal tumor began to bleed.
It is also possible to use biopsy. To conduct microscopic examination, tissue samples are taken. The doctor takes a sample of the tumor, sends it to the laboratory and examines under the microscope. The method makes it possible to know whether the tumor is benign or malignant, as well as to make a prognosis for the further development of the tumor.
One of the most widely used methods to cure colon cancer is a surgery intervention. There are emergency operations and operations that are carried out according to the plan. Emergency operation is carried out when a patient is very bad and there is little time to make all the necessary preparations for the operation. Muscle relaxants and anesthesia are used during the operation. A surgeon does a few cuts on the abdominal wall to access to the different parts of the patient's affected organ. A midline incision is also often required, and its disposition and length depend on the location of the tumor. Small cuts also could provide easy access to the object.
Radiotherapy is another common method of colon cancer treatment. There are two ways of cancerous tumor irradiation. At external radiation therapy, irradiation of the body with X-rays carried using a linear particle accelerator. The course of treatment can last up to seven weeks. A patient undergoes the procedure five days a week. The duration of treatment is a half-hour a day. Using internal radiation technique (brachytherapy) a radiation source in a thin tube is introduced nearby the tumor or in the tumor itself. Thus, irradiation is carried out permanently. The implant stays in the body until the end of therapy.
Antiangiogenic therapy also might be used for the treatment of colon cancer. This is one of the latest methods in this field. The tumor is exposed to inhibitors, which affect the growth of the blood vessels of cancer. After the treatment the growth of blood vessels stops and the cancer is no longer progressing.
Experienced doctors of our clinic will help you in the treatment of colon cancer! Having the latest equipment to diagnose the disease, our highly qualified doctors are able to diagnose colon cancer in earlier stages and begin treatment of the patient timely.