Colon Cancer Treatment

Couches Chairs Rugs LobbyColorectal cancer is used to refer to cancer that develops in the colon or the rectum. These cancers are sometimes referred to separately as colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where they start. Colon cancer and rectal cancer have many features in common. Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 108,070 new cases of colon cancer (53,760 in men and 54,310 in women) and 40,740 new cases of rectal cancer (23,490 in men and 17,250 in women) will be diagnosed in 2008.

In most people, colorectal cancers grow slowly over a period of a number of years. Most cases of colon cancer begin as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps that have the potential to change into cancer. Because of this, adenomas are called a pre-cancerous condition. A polyp is a benign, non-cancerous tumor. Some polyps can change into cancer but not all do. The chance of changing into a cancer depends upon the kind of polyp. Hyperplastic polyps and inflammatory polyps are usually not pre-cancerous. But some doctors think that some hyperplastic polyps can become pre-cancerous and indicate a greater risk of developing adenomas and cancer.

Polyps may be small and produce little or no symptoms at all. Identifying polyps before they become cancerous through regular screening tests can help prevent colon cancer. Possible signs of colon cancer could be:

  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Blood in your stool
  • Persistent cramping
  • Gas
  • Abdominal pain

Depending on the cancer’s location and size, many people with colon cancer will not have any symptoms in the early stages of the disease.

Your risk of colon cancer may increase due to:

  • Age
  • A personal history of colon cancer
  • Inflammatory intestinal conditions
  • Inherited Syndromes
  • Family history of colon cancer and colon polyps
  • Diet
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Heavy Use of Alcohol
  • Growth hormone disorder
  • Radiation therapy for cancer

Make an appointment
Meet with one of our physicians to discuss when you should begin screening for colon cancer. It is usually recommended that colon cancer screenings begin at age 50. The doctor may recommend more frequent or earlier screenings if you have other risk factors, such as a family history of the disease.
Screening

Most colon cancers develop from adenomatous polyps. Screening at our colon cancer treatment clinic can detect polyps before they become cancerous. Screening may also detect colon cancer in its early stages when there is a good chance for cure.

  • You may be afraid or embarrassed by the screening procedures. You may be worried about discomfort or afraid of the results. We can discuss your screening options and go over any concerns you may have.

Common screening and diagnostic procedures include the following:

  • Stool blood test
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Barium enema
  • Colonoscopy

Diagnosis
If we believe you might have colon cancer derived from your signs and symptoms, a colonoscopy may be needed to look for colon cancer. A colonoscopy allows us to look for polyps or unusual areas in your colon. We may also remove a tissue sample from your colon to look for cancer cells. In some cases, barium enema or flexible sigmoidoscopy may be used to diagnose colon cancer.
Stages of Cancer

If you are diagnosed with colon cancer, additional tests will be ordered to determine the stage of your cancer. Staging will help us to decide what colon cancer treatments are best for you. These staging tests may include imaging procedures such as abdominal CT scan or chest X-ray. The stages of colon cancer are:

  • Stage 0: Your cancer is in the earliest stage. It hasn’t grown beyond the inner layer (mucosa) of your colon or rectum.
  • Stage 1: Your cancer has grown through the mucosa but hasn’t spread beyond the colon wall or rectum.
  • Stage 2: Your cancer has grown into or through the wall of the colon or rectum but hasn’t spread to nearby lymph nodes.
  • Stage 3: Your cancer has invaded nearby lymph nodes but isn’t affecting other parts of your body yet.
  • Stage 4: Your cancer has spread to remote sites, such as other organs — for instance to your liver or lung
  • Recurrent. Your cancer has come back after treatment.

Colon Cancer Treatment Options

Your type of colon cancer treatment will depend on the stage of your cancer. The three primary cancer treatment options are: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.Surgery: the primary treatment for colorectal cancer.

  • Chemotherapy : uses drugs to destroy cancer cells
  • Radiation therapy: uses powerful energy sources, such as X-rays, to kill any cancer cells that might remain after surgery, to shrink large tumors before an operation so that they can be removed more easily, or to relieve symptoms of colon cancer and rectal cancer.
  • Targeted drug therapy

Are you suffering from colon cancer? Our experienced staff gives intensive care & perfect treatments for colon cancer serving the Bedford, Hurst, Arlington and surrounding areas.

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