Colorectal cancer


This cancer appears in the colon or rectum, with 655,000 deaths per year over the world, it is the fourth most common cancer for men and women. Colon cancer usually starts with mushroom-shaped lump in the intestines, but sometimes it develops into Cancer. The tumor are usually curable when it appears within the wall of the colon(TNM stage I and II). If untreated, they start spreading over the intestines(stage III), where up to 73% are curable with surgery. When the cancer spreads to distant sites(stage IV) is usually not curable.

Main causes of Colorectal Cancer:

  • Age-People above the age of 50 has a higher chance of getting Colon Cancer, its is caused directly, it mainly caused by polyps, 1 in 4 people that are above the age of 50 has polyps.
  • Obesity
  • Family medical history
  • Smoking
  • Lack of Exercise

What are the symptoms?

Colorectal cancer can proceed to an advanced stage without any clear signs. Symptoms may include diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, constipation, or nausea. Other symptoms include a thin or flat stool. Blood, either clearly visible or detectable with special tests, may also be present. The stool may appear reddish, dark cranberry or even black in color. In advanced colon cancer, symptoms may include weight loss, abdominal pain caused by the obstruction of the intestine, and loss of appetite. Some patients feel weak and are diagnosed with anemia due to hidden bleeding. Tumors occurring lower in the large intestine (the regions called the sigmoid and rectum) may result in blockages or clearly apparent bleeding.



How is Colorectal cancer diagnosed?

Colorectal cancer is almost always diagnosed by observation through a colonoscope (a flexible fiberoptic or TV instrument capable of viewing most of the large intestine). In addition to viewing, colonoscopes permit specialists to snare polyps or tumor fragments for lab analysis. In very early cancer, confined to the top of a small polyp, no additional surgery may be necessary. In some cases, you may also receive a barium enema, which can show areas of the large intestine not visible to the colonoscope. Colonoscopy and barium enema require flushing all bowel contents well before the procedures.







What treatment do we get?

The 4 main types of treatment for colorectal cancer are:
  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy (often called just "chemo")
  • Targeted therapies (like monoclonal antibodies)

Reference:

Ehrlich, Steven Ehrlich. (2008, 12 18). Colorectal cancer. Retrieved from http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/colorectal-cancer-000026.htm
Philip johnson (2007, 13, 5). Colorectal Cancer. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/colorectal-cancer/guide/colorectal-cancer-treatment-care