Colon cancer is the kind of cancer that is caused by the disorganized growth of the cells of the large intestine, medically called colon. Sometimes, it also affects the area we call anus and is called rectal cancer. Where both the conditions are present, the cancer is referred to as colorectal cancer. This cancer usually sets in the life of patient in the later decades of life. It is third mainly diagnosed type of cancer in the world and is the most frequent in the developed nations.
Causes of Colon Cancer
The factors of risk behind the development of this disease are the age of 50 years or more, a history of this disease in the family and a personal history of rectum, ovary, colon or breast. Other such factors include the record of polyps in the colon, which are small benign growths in the intestine and the presence of ulcers in the lining of the large intestine. Other conditions of family diseases like adenomatous polyposis can also pose risk.
Various symptoms of colon cancer comprise a shift in the habits of colon and inclusion of blood in the stools. Other signs are diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the intestine does not drain fully, narrower Stools, fullness, general abdominal uneasiness in the forms of swelling, recurrent gas trouble, or cramps; loss of weight with no known reason, nausea and stable weariness.
So far as the diagnosis of colon cancer is concerned, all the methods and devices that test the rectal tissues, rectum and blood can be used to test the presence of this disease. Fecal occult blood test is the test that checks the presence of hidden blood in the sample of stool. Secondly, Barium enema is used to x-ray the affected organ because it shows the image of intestines clearly. A liquid in which barium is included is administered into rectal area.
Sigmoidoscopy and Colonoscopy
Sigmoidoscopy is another very effective technique in which a sigmoidoscope is used to see the inner of the intestine. Sigmoidoscope is a thin wired instrument with light to watch tumors, polyps and abnormal areas. It is inserted in the rectum to examine it. Colonoscopy is another such technique which works like Sigmoidoscopy with the difference that it can scan the whole large intestine.
The chances of recovery are calculated on the basis of affected area by the disease. The determination of stage leads to the best possible treatment. Different treatments may be given to the patients of the colon cancer. For all of the stages of the cancer, surgery is a common treatment. Local excision is done in the early stages of cancer. In it local diseased part of the intestine is removed. Affected area is removed along with some part of normal tissue in resection, if the area of disease is larger one. Chemotherapy is another technique in which drugs are given to kill the cells of cancer. X-rays or any other kind of radiation is used to kill the cells of cancer in the treatment called radiation therapy.
Colon cancer may be treated in various ways. Some ways are used to treat the symptoms and others to remove the disease and its effects. Further research is being conducted on the disease in which trial tests will give us more and more treatments.