Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer (cancer of the rectum and large intestine) is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death and starts to rise at age 40 and peaks between ages sixty and seventy five. Colorectal Cancer

Large intestine cancer (colon cancer) is most common in females, while rectal cancer is most common in males. Individuals with family colon cancer; familial polyposis history; people with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis are at higher risk of developing Colorectal Cancer. Risk of getting Colorectal Cancer seems to be decreased by a diet high in vitamin D, calcium and vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage and brussels sprouts.

Colorectal Cancer grows gradually and takes a long time before it is severe enough to result in the symptoms. A tumor in the right (ascending) colon can enlarge so much that a surgeon may feel it through wall of the abdomen. The patient’s only symptoms can be weakness and fatigue caused by severe anemia. The left (descending) person’s colon has a thicker wall and smaller diameter. Colorectal Cancer tends to encircle this this colon part, resulting in frequent bowel movements and alternating constipations. Because the descending (left) colon is narrower and wall of left colon thicker, the Colorectal Cancer is likely to result in obstruction earlier.

A patient can seek medical treatment because of constipation and severe abdominal pain or crampy abdominal pain. Most cancers bleed slowly. In rectal cancer, the most common symptom is bleeding at the time of bowel movements. Individual with rectal cancer experience feeling that the rectum has not been fully empted or have painful bowel movement. However, the individual commonly experiences no aches from the cancer itself until the cancer spread to the tissues outside rectum. Everybody should know that regular screening tests may help to detect Colorectal Cancer in the early stages. The stool may be examined under the microscope to check amount of blood and such test is inexpensive. To reach best tests results, an individual eats high fiber diet free of red meat for three days before stool sample provided. If such screening points the cancer possibility, further tests are needed.

Before performing endoscopy, the person’s intestine must be emptied, frequently by using few enemas and strong laxatives. Appr. 65% of Colorectal Cancers may be seen with fiber-optic, flexible sigmoidoscope. If a polyp is found, the whole intestine is tested with a colonoscope. Certain growths that appearing to be cancerous must be removed by using surgical devices passed through the colonoscopes; other may be removed at the time of surgery. Blood test can help to perform diagnosis. In people with Colorectal Cancer, carcinoembryonic antigen blood levels are high in 70% of cases. 2 other antigens, including CA 125 and CA 19-9 should also be measured. After removal of the colorectal tumor, the levels of all these antigens may be low.

The major treatment for Colorectal Cancers is surgery, in which a large segment of the damaged intestine and lymph nodes must be removed. In 30% of patients, who cannot tolerate the surgery because of poor health, certain cancers may be removed by electrocoagulation. Such procedure can ease symptoms and make life longer, but recovery is unlikely. When Colorectal Cancer has metastasized (spread) and may not be treated by surgery alone, chemotherapy with Levamisole and Fluorouracil after operation can make person’s life longer, but recovery is still rare. If Colorectal Cancer has metastasized (spread) so much, that all of it may not be removed, operation to relieve the obstruction of the intestine can subside symptoms. However, people survive only about seven months.

If the Colorectal Cancer has metastasized (spread) only to the person’s liver, chemotherapy medications may be injected primarily to the artery that supplies the liver. After Colorectal Cancer has been entirely removed surgically, most doctors advice 2 to 5 yearly evaluations of the remaining intestine with colonoscopy procedure. If such tests do not find any cancers, an individual should continue follow-up evaluations every two to three years thereafter.

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