Excellent Colon Cancer Treatment Methods
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Colon cancer is most often grouped along with rectal cancer and is referred to as colorectal cancer.As in the case of many types of cancers, early diagnosis becomes a great problem, especially when there is a complete lack of symptoms.
Symptoms Of Colon Cancer
Symptoms that crop up later on as the disease progresses are abdominal cramps, bloating, painful bowel movements, blood in stool and bleeding from the rectum, sudden weight loss, extreme fatigue and noticeable changes in bowel habits and bowel appearance.
Treatment Methods Of Colon Cancer
Colon cancer can pose difficulties in treatment, especially because of the late diagnosis which makes it difficult to save core areas of the colon that will help in its normal functioning.
Most of the time, patients require a stoma to be created for bowel movements. The surgeon decides the treatment option based on the size, stage and also the location of the cancer.
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Surgery is the most common treatment option for colon cancer. Surgery can even be undertaken during the early stages of colon cancer without causing much damage to the wall of the abdomen.
During the early stages, the tumour is removed through a simple surgical method wherein the surgeon inserts a tube into the rectum and cuts the tumour inside the colon. This kind of surgical method is also used when cancerous polyps are found inside the colon.
Small polyps are removed through a colonoscopy wherein a colonoscope is inserted through the rectum. Bigger polyps can be removed through laparoscopic surgery. Here, a flexible tube with a camera is inserted into small openings and tumour is removed through the video images generated. Laparoscopy makes way for faster recovery and pain reduction.
For advanced colon cancer, removal of certain parts of the colon is necessary. After removal of the cancerous area, the remaining portion is stitched together if possible or a colostomy is done where the stools are collected in a bag which is fixed to the stoma.
Chemotherapy is normally done along with surgery to stop the spread of cancer cells that might have escaped to other parts of the body. Chemotherapy is also done when the cancer cells have spread to lymph nodes.
Radiation therapy uses high energy radiation beams to destroy cancer cells that are located in a particular area of the colon. Radiation therapy is also used in conjunction with chemo and surgery to shrink the tumour size. It is sometimes given before surgery to reduce the tumour size before surgery.
The newer treatment methods for colon cancer include cryotherapy where the cancer cells are frozen and radiofrequency ablation in which electrodes are used for destroying cancer cells. When the cancer is much advanced, targeted therapy is used when drugs are used for stopping tumour cells from developing blood vessels and communicating with other cells for spread.