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Monday, November 3, 2008

Colorectal cancer

What is colorectal cancer?
In this type of cancer malignant or cancer cells are found in the colon or rectum.

What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?
The following are the most common symptoms of colorectal cancer. People who have any of the following symptoms should check with their doctor, especially if they are over 40 years old or have a personal or family history of the disease:
  • A change in bowel habits such as diarrhea or constipation
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
  • Cramping or gnawing stomach pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Jaundice (yellowish coloring) of the skin or sclera of the eye
The symptoms of colorectal cancer may resemble other conditions, such as infections, hemorrhoids, and inflammatory bowel disease. It is also possible to have colon cancer and not have any symptoms. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis

What are the methods of screening for colorectal cancer:
  • Digital rectal examination (DRE) – your surgeon at the colorectal clinic will insert a gloved finger into the rectum to feel for anything unusual or abnormal.
  • Fecal occult blood test - a sample of stool is examined for blood.
  • One of the following- Sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, barium enema with air contrast (Also called a double contrast barium enema)
What is the treatment for colorectal cancer?
Specific treatment for colorectal cancer will be determined by your surgeon based on:
  • Your age, overall health, and medical history , Extent of the disease , Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
Treatment choices for the person with colon cancer depend on the stage of the tumor - if it has spread and how far.

How an early Detection Can Prevent Colorectal Cancer?
Bowel habits are not something most people talk about, so they choose to avoid the topic altogether. With proper screening, almost all colon and rectal polyps can be found before they turn into cancer. Polyps are precancerous masses that form on the lining of the colon or rectum. Left untreated, certain polyps can become cancerous. Men and women aged 50 or older should get regular screening exams such as a colonoscopy.

What can we to lower the risk of colorectal cancer?
  • Make early detection a priority.
  • Get yourself checked by your surgeon at the Colorectal clinic.
  • Two of the primary risk factors for colorectal cancer are age and family history.
  • Watch for physical changes. Consult your surgeon if you observe have bloody stool, persistent changes in bowel habits, unexplained weight loss or unusual stomach pain.
  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Research has shown that diets high in fat, protein, meat and alcohol may increase colorectal cancer risk. It's better to eat a lower-fat diet filled with colorful and leafy vegetables - they offer the most beneficial nutrients - and high-fiber foods such as coffee atta, daliya, beans and citrus fruits. Fiber-rich diets help keep your digestive tract healthy, stabilize blood sugar levels and control cholesterol.
What are the commonly done surgeries for Colorectal cancer?
Rectal biopsy, Hartman’s procedure, Abdomino-perineal resection Examination under anaesthesia, Laparoscopic abdominal rectopexy, Laparoscopic anterior resection

Anal dilation, Anal canal reconstruction, Excision of perianal nodule, Core excision of fistulous tract, Anal polypectomy.

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