Colorectal cancer is the abnormal growth of polyps that is malignant in the rectum. The rectum is the passage that connects the large intestine, i.e., the colon to the Anus. Depending on where cancer originates, it is sometimes referred to as colon cancer as well.
According to Medical News Today, it’s the third most common type of cancer in Australia.
If you have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer or know somebody who has, read on here and visit website for more information.
Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer
For proper treatment and cure, diagnosis at the right stage is critical. It helps if you watch out for significant symptoms, which include:-
- Diarrhea and Constipation
- Changes in bowel habits
- Blood from the rectum
- Feeling fullness in the abdomen even if not eaten
- Blood in the stool or black stool
- Lump in the abdomen or back passage
- Weakness and fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unexplained iron deficiency
Some of these symptoms may be due to other medical conditions, as well. However, if the symptoms persist for a few weeks or more, it is best to see a doctor and rule out the possibilities.
Once cancer spreads to other organs, it can present new symptoms.
It is important to note that cancer can present little or no symptoms at the earlier stages. Regular screening is essential. It is also important not to self-medicate or ignore even the slightest abnormalities and report the doctor. The right diagnosis at the right stage plays a significant role in the efficacy of the treatment.
Stages and Treatment Options
The available treatment options largely depend on the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed. The stage determines to what extent the cancer has spread or how big the tumor is.
Stages are assigned from 0 to 4, with 0 being the earliest when cancer starts to develop and is the easiest to treat. Stage 4 is when cancer has affected the colon entirely and has spread to the body’s distant parts. This is the hardest to treat and often sees the highest number of deaths.
The treatment mode depends on several factors like the stage of colon cancer, age, and medical history of the patient, overall health status, etc. For more specific details, you can visit this website. However, the following are the common modes of treatment followed for colorectal cancer:-
Surgery – This is the most common treatment option for colorectal cancer. The tumor and the nearby lymph nodes are removed to prevent cancer from spreading. Sometimes, the rectum has to be completely removed, and a colostomy bag is attached for drainage. This bag collects stools. If diagnosed early, surgery is quite effective in eradicating cancer.
Chemotherapy – This treatment targets the cell division process by administering medications. Chemotherapy attempts to damage and kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy before surgery helps shrink the size of the tumor.
Radiation Therapy – This treatment uses high energy radiation beams to destroy cancer cells and prevent them from multiplying. It often works in combination with Chemotherapy.
Ablation – This procedure destroys the tumor without actually removing it. It is done using radiofrequency, ethanol, or cryosurgery. It can be carried out on small tumors up to 4cm or less. It is usually recommended in the case of metastasis when cancer has spread to the liver and lungs.
Like all other cancers, the exact cause of colorectal cancer isn’t known. But, some lifestyle habits like high consumption of animal protein, saturated fats, calories, high alcohol consumption, overweight, obesity, etc. are known to increase the risk. Diet and lifestyle changes are the only way to prevent this disease.