Colon Cancer

Colon cancer.  Photo from www.sciencephoto.com

Thick intestines— This is the end of the digestive tract in 1,5-2 meter. It consists of the cecum with the appendix, ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon gut, sigmoid and straight gut.

Colon cancer — a malignant tumor that grows from the mucous membrane that lines the wall of the colon. In most cases the tumor is located in the sigmoid colon, rectum, or blind.

Bowel cancer is most common in the elderly. And every year these patients is becoming more and more, especially in developed countries with a high standard of living.

Causes

Occurrence of colon cancer is facilitated by:

  • the nature of power — the predominance of the diet of meat, fat and flour dishes, lack of maintenance of plant products;
  • violation of the stool (constipation);
  • diseases of the colon: colitis and polyps (cancer risk begins to increase after 7 years from the onset of the disease, and for every 10 years increased by 10%, reaching 25 years from 30%);
  • a genetic predisposition;
  • advanced age.

What's going on?

When excess animal fat and protein in the food material produced in the intestines, promoting the development of tumors (carcinogen). For constipation time action of these substances on the walls of the colon is significantly increased which may lead to degeneration of normal cells into cancer cells.

Malignant tumors may also arise in the current background long inflammatory bowel diseases (colitis), and transform from polyps (benign growths on the intestinal mucosa).

Ready cancer cells begin to multiply rapidly. The tumor gradually increased in size and, in time, fills the lumen. As a result, developing ileus. If the tumor invades the intestinal wall, it can destroy his vessels, and cause intestinal bleeding.

In the later stages of the disease the tumor spreads beyond the colon: invades the intestinal wall and is embedded in the surrounding organs, along with shock lymph enters the lymph nodes and affects them, along with the blood is stored in distant organs (liver, lung, bone and brain) and forms new tumors (metastases) there. In the absence of treatment effect comes death.

What are the symptoms?

In the early stages of colon cancer usually does not manifest itself. Only when tumor becomes large, there is a whole bunch of unpleasant symptoms:

  • abdominal pain (long, dull, aching);
  • constipation;
  • bloating and rumbling in the abdomen;
  • blood in the stool;
  • poor appetite,
  • pallor;
  • weakness, and weakness;
  • fever;
  • weight loss.

Diagnostics

Any tumor is easier to treat, as long as it is small in size. It is therefore very important to get preventive care ata gastroenterologist, which includes the study of fecal occult blood. After 40 years of check-ups at the doctor should be held every three years, and to pass fecal occult blood test every year.

In some cases, can be assigned the following treatments:

  1. Barium enema — x-ray of the intestine with preliminary filling of contrast agent using an enema;
  2. Sigmoidoscopy — examination of the bowel (30 cm) using a special apparatus (sigmoidoscopy) introduced into the anus;
  3. Colonoscopy — a study similar to sigmoidoscopy, only examined a large portion of the intestine (up to one meter).
  4. During a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, the doctor may biopsy — removal of a small piece of the intestinal mucosa for detailed examination under a microscope. The procedure is virtually painless. A biopsy is especially useful for patients who have intestinal polyps.

Treatment

The main method of treating cancer colon is surgical. In addition to this operation, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Type of operation depends on the location of the tumor and its dimensions. If the tumor is small and "well located", it is removed completely, while maintaining normal bowel function. When large amounts of tumor, as well as some features of its operation location finishes creation of an artificial outlet ulcer — colostomy that is displayed on the patient's abdomen.

In some cases, surgical treatment carried out in two stages: first, remove part of the bowel and form a colostomy, and a few months later restore normal bowel function.

Prognosis of the disease depends on the size of the tumor and the timeliness of surgical treatment. The smaller the size of the tumor, the greater the chance of complete cure of the disease.

Prophylaxis

For the prevention of colon cancer should:

  • included in the diet of more vegetables and fruits;
  • struggle with constipation;
  • timely to treat inflammatory bowel disease (colitis);
  • important time to remove colon polyps.
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