What is Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer is a type of cancer that is found in the colon or large intestine. The colon, or large intestine, is the part of your body from where the body draws out water and salt from solid wastes. Although this type of cancer can happen at any age, it is quite common amongst older adults.
Colon cancer begins as a noncancerous clump of cells, known as polyps, formed on the inner side of the colon. With time, these polyps hold the tendency to turn into colon cancer. Colon cancer sometimes occurs along with rectal cancer, which begins in the rectum. This condition has been termed colorectal cancer.
There are various types of treatments available at Apollo Spectra Kanpur, to treat colon cancer, such as surgery, radiation therapy, and drug treatments, such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy.
What are the Symptoms of Colon Cancer?
There are no specific symptoms of colon cancer. The symptoms may vary depending on the location of the colon. Some of the symptoms of colon cancer are:
- rectal bleeding or passing of blood in the stool
- dark-colored stool
- change in bowel habits
- weight loss
- cramps, gas, and abdominal pain
What are the Causes of Colon Cancer?
There are no certain causes given for colon cancer. It is believed that colon cancer develops when the healthy cells in the colon change their DNA. When a cell's DNA is damaged, it becomes cancerous. The cancerous cells continue to divide even when new cells aren't needed and as they accumulate, they form a tumor, thereby giving way to cancer.
What are the Stages of Colon Cancer?
There are five stages of colon cancer, ranging from 0 to 4 -
- Stage 0: This is the earliest stage of cancer. The growth of cancer remains in the inner layer of the colon only. It is easy to treat cancer at this stage.
- Stage 1: Cancer moves to the next layer but has not reached any other organ.
- Stage 2: Cancer reaches the outer layer of the colon but does not move beyond it.
- Stage 3: Cancer moves outside the colon and holds the tendency to reach about one to three lymph nodes.
- Stage 4: This is the stage where cancer starts to affect other distant parts of the body.
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What are the Treatments available to tend Colon Cancer?
There are various treatment options available at Apollo Spectra, Kanpur, for colon cancer. All the available treatments aim to remove cancer, prevent its spread, and reduce any uncomfortable symptoms that come along with it. The most common treatments available are:
- Surgery - Surgery is performed to remove part or all of the colon.
- During the procedure, the part of the colon that contains the cancer is removed along with some of the surrounding area. This type of surgery is called a colectomy.
- Another type of surgery called colostomy can also be performed. In this procedure, a surgical opening is made in the wall of the abdomen to allow the passage of waste from there into a bag, thereby removing the function of the lower part of the colon.
- Other types of surgeries, namely endoscopy, laparoscopic surgery, and palliative surgery can also help treat colon cancer.
- Chemotherapy - Chemotherapy aims to interfere with the process of cell division. This disruption can be achieved by destroying proteins or DNA to damage and kill cancer cells. This type of treatment targets any rapidly dividing cells, including healthy ones.
- Radiation therapy - It uses powerful energy sources, such as X-rays and protons, which function to kill cancer cells. This process is used to reduce large cancer to make its removal easier during the operation.
- Immunotherapy, targeted drug therapy, and supportive care are other options available at Apollo Spectra, Kanpur, that can be used to treat colon cancer.
No, blood tests cannot detect colon cancer.
Colon cancer mostly spreads to the liver, although, it can also spread to other parts such as the lungs or brain.
Colon cancer is highly treatable and surgery is the primary form of treatment with results showcasing cure in approximately 50% of the patients.