Colorectal cancer: What you need to know. Knowing more about this would start with first of all, understanding.
What Is Colorectal Cancer?
This is cancer that starts in the rectum or the colon. Depending on where this kind of cancer starts, it can also be called as rectal cancer or colon cancer. Rectal cancer or colon cancer, tend to be grouped, as they both have a number of common features!
How Does Cancer Start?
Cancer starts as cells in the human body start to grow, and they grow beyond control. Cells in almost any part of the human body can become cancerous.
What Is The Start Of Colorectal Cancer?
Most of these types of cancers begin as a growth on the inner lining of the rectum or the colon. Such types of growths are called polyps. It is important to note that not all polyps become cancer. But, some polyps can turn into cancer, after many many years. Whether the polyp will turn into cancer or not, will depend on the kind of polyp it is. There are two kinds of polyps, and these are:
- Inflammatory Polyps and Hyperplastic Polyps: Though these are the more common types of polyps, generally, they are not pre-cancerous.
- Adenomatous Polyps (Adenomas): At times, these polyps can grow into cancer. And for this very reason, they are referred to as a pre-cancerous condition.
Other Factors That Can Cause Polyps To Cause Colorectal Cancer
There are some other reasons due to which polyps can give rise to cancer, and these are:
- If the polyp has been removed and dysplasia is seen.
- If there are more than 2 polyps that have been discovered.
- If the size of the polyp found is more significant than 1 cm.
What Are The Early Symptoms Of Colon Cancer?
These are some of the early signs that could indicate that a person is suffering from colorectal cancer:
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Unusual stomach pains.
- Bowel incontinence.
- Blood in the stool or on the stool.
- Unexplained anemia.
- Gas pains.
What Are The Colon Cancer Stages?
As you now know, colon cancer is also known as colorectal cancer. This kind of cancer has the following stages:
- Stage 0: In this stage, in the colon, abnormal cells are found in the mucosa or the wall. This is known as carcinoma in situ.
- Stage I: This is where cancer has invaded the submucosa and the mucosa.
- Stage II: Here, cancer has spread beyond the wall of the colon, but the lymph nodes have not been affected. This stage is divided into 3 further stages, and these are Stage IIA, Stage IIB, and stage IIC.
- Stage III: In this, cancer has gone beyond the lining of the colon, and the lymph nodes are affected.
- Stage IV: This is the stage where cancer has now spread to various organs in the body via lymph nodes and the blood.
What Is The Colorectal Cancer Treatment Available?
People who suffer from stage IV colon cancer, are likely to undergo surgery for the metastases or removal of small areas, in the affected organs. But in many instances, the affected areas are so big that they cannot be removed. As such, chemotherapy is used to shrink these tumors, making it possible for surgery to be active and for the life of a person to be prolonged. The various types of chemotherapy treatments that can be got, to help in dealing with colorectal cancer are:
- Capecitabine (XELODA 500 MG and CAPEGARD 500 ), without bevacizumab or with it.
- CapeOX (oxaliplatin and capecitabine).
- FOLFIRI (5-FU, leucovorin, and irinotecan).
- Irinotecan, without cetuximab or with it.
- FOLFOX (oxaliplatin, 5-FU, and leucovorin [folinic acid]).
- FOLFOXIRI (Oxaliplatin, leucovorin, irinotecan, and 5-FU.)
- Leucovorin and 5-FU with bevacizumab or without it.
How to Go About Colorectal Cancer Prevention?
It may be possible to prevent colorectal cancer by taking the following steps:
- Exercise almost every day of the week.
- Do not smoke, and if you do, quit smoking at once.
- Keep a healthy weight.
- As far as possible, do not drink alcohol. And if you have to, keep it to a bare minimum.
- Consume various kinds of vegetables, fruits, and also whole grains. These contain antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and minerals, all of which play a huge role in the prevention of colorectal cancer.
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