Colon cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the US. It’s also one of the most preventable. In fact, up to 70 percent of all cases could be prevented with healthy behaviors and regular screening tests.Colon cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the colon. Colon cancer, also called colorectal cancer or large bowel cancer, includes cancerous growths in the colon, rectum and appendix.It develops in the digestive tract from polyps that initially are benign, but that over time mutate into a cancerous tumor. The cancer cells invade and destroy nearby tissue, and can break away to form new tumors in other parts of the body, a process called metastasis.
The three sections of the colon — ascending, transverse and descending (also called sigmoid colon) — and rectum are part of the body’s gastrointestinal system that digests, processes and eliminates food, together forming a muscular tube more than 5 feet long. Most colon cancers begin in the sigmoid colon just above the rectum.
Navneet Sharda, M.D, a Las Vegas oncologist, discusses colorectal cancer here.
Dr. Navneet Sharda provides this information as an educational source. It is not intended as a substitute for a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider.
A change in bowel habits. Stools that are narrower than usual. Bright red blood or black tarry stools. Unintentional weight loss. Abdominal pain. Unexplained diarrhea or constipation. Fatigue due to anemia. Frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, or cramps. Vomiting.
There are five stages of colon cancer, beginning with stage zero and ending with stage four. In the final stage of colon cancer, the cancer will spread to other organs. At this point, colon cancer is extremely aggressive, and treatments will involve surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy
Diagnosis of Colon Cancer
The goal of colorectal cancer screening is to remove precancerous polyps before they develop into cancer or to diagnose a cancer in its early stages when survival is greatest.If you are having rectal bleeding or changes in your bowel movements, you will undergo tests to determine the cause of the symptoms.
Digital rectal exam Your health care provider may insert a gloved finger into your rectum through your anus. This test, called a digital rectal exam, is a quick screen to make sure that any bleeding is actually coming from your rectum.
Accepted screening methods have recently emphasized colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a noninvasive means of directly examining the lining of the entire colon and distal portion of the small bowel. It may be ordered for colorectal cancer screening or to investigate the cause of a patient’s bright red blood or black tarry stools, unintentional weight loss, abdominal pain, unexplained diarrhea or constipation, or fatigue due to anemia.
In most cases, doctors need to do a biopsy to make a diagnosis of cancer. For a biopsy, the doctor removes a sample of tissue and sends it to a lab. A pathologist looks at the tissue under a microscope. The sample may be removed in several ways:
•With a needle: The doctor uses a needle to withdraw tissue or fluid. •With an endoscope: The doctor uses a thin, lighted tube (an endoscope) to look at areas inside the body. The doctor can remove tissue or cells through the tube. •With surgery: Surgery may be excisionalor incisional. •In an excisional biopsy, the surgeon removes the entire tumor. Often some of the normal tissue around the tumor also is removed. •In an incisional biopsy, the surgeon removes just part of the tumor.
If you have colon cancer, the type of treatment that you will undergo is largely going to depend on the location of the cancer, the size of the cancer and also what stage you are currently in. There are three primary treatment options for colon cancer, which are chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy. The main treatment for dealing with colorectal cancer is surgery and the operation itself is known as a colostomy, which involves removing a piece of your colon in order to completely remove the cancer.
A bowel resection is a treatment for colorectal cancer where the tumor and nearby parts of the colon, or rectum, are removed. This procedure can also be used to treat other bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, or to remove something blocking the bowel.This procedure is done with general anesthetic in a hospital.
Whether used alone or in combination with another treatment, radiation therapy is an option for many people with cancer. High doses of radiation are used to kill cancer cells by changing how they multiply. Cancer cells multiply more rapidly than normal cells, and as a result they are more sensitive to damage from radiation therapy.
Doctors use radiation therapy on different parts of the body. External beam radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body that directs radiation energy to specific area. Another form of treatment, called brachytherapy, puts radioactive implants either in or close to the cancerous tissue. Small “seeds,” needles, or wires containing different radioactive materials are the main types of implants.This procedure takes place in a hospital or in a clinic.
Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment (affects cells throughout the entire body) that uses drugs either to stop the abnormal growth and dividing process of the cancerous cells, or to kill them
There is not an absolute method for preventing colon cancer. Still, there are steps an individual can take to dramatically lessen the risk or to identify the precursors of colon cancer so that it does not manifest itself. People who turn age 50, and all of those with a history of colon cancer in their families, should speak with their physicians about the most recent screening recommendations from physician and cancer organizations. They should watch for symptoms and attend all recommended screenings to increase the likelihood of catching colon cancer early. Exercise is believed to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Apparently, no association exists between frequency of bowel movement or laxative use and risk of colon cancer.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Navneet Sharda call 702-547-2273.
Oncologist Dr. Navneet Sharda is the medical director of Cancer Care Center. For more than a decade Cancer Care Center has been specializing in treatment of various types of cancers like multiforme, meningioma, tonsil, tongue, laryngeal, parotid, neck, lung, breast, lymphoma, non hodgkins lymphoma, hodgkins disease, hodgkins lymphoma, skin cancer, melanoma, esophageal, gastric, pancreatic, colon, renal, kidney, ovarian, sarcoma, uterine cancer, cervical cancer, vaginal, brain, breast, vulvar cancer, bone metastasis, bone, osteosarcoma, endometrial cancercarcinoma, tumor, malignant and cancerous Cancers. We offer threapylike chemotherapy, radiotherapy, radiation therapy, radiation oncology, oncology, oncologist,immunotherapy, brachy therapy, stereotactic radio surgery, IMRT, intensity modulated radiation therapy, conformal therapy, anaplastic astrocytoma, gioblastoma.