Everything You Need To Know About Colon Cancer Treatment

Colon cancer is a type of cancer which develops in the colon. It is also called colon, colorectal or  rectal cancer depending on where it occurs. Colon cancer usually begins as small non-cancerous polyps.  Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in men worldwide. Early detection may help in the effective treatment of colon cancer. Here, we will look at various aspects of colon cancer, such as what is colon cancer, what are the causes and symptoms of colon cancer, how to diagnose colon cancer, what are the treatments of colon cancer, who are the best doctors for colon cancer in India, and which are the top hospitals for colon cancer in India.

Dr. Mohammad Afzal Siddiqui

Review By Dr. Mohammad Afzal Siddiqui
Award-winning CEO of Marlin Medical Assistance Pvt. Ltd

Mar 4, 2024

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Table Of Index

What is colon cancer?

What is colon cancer?

Colon cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the rectum or colon. Colon (or large intestine) begins in the right side of your abdomen near the last part of the small intestine and finally ends at the point where the rectum starts. Colon cancer often shows no symptoms in its early stages, but a person should consult a doctor if they see persistent changes in bowel habits. Treatment may vary by the stage as well as types of colon cancer. Some kinds of polyps may change into cancer with time, but not all types of polyps become cancer. The chance of a polyp growing into cancer depends on its type. There are various types of polyps.

Types of colon cancer

Carcinoid tumors: These tumors start in the hormone-producing cells of the intestine.

Gastrointestinal stromal tumors: These develops in the special cells in the colon wall called the interstitial cells of Cajal. Some tumors are benign. These tumors can develop anywhere in the digestive tract. However, these are not common in the colon.

Lymphomas: These cancers start in immune system cells. They generally begin in lymph nodes, but they can also start in your rectum, colon, and other organs.

Sarcomas: These start in muscle layers, blood vessels, or other connective tissues of the wall of the rectum and colon. Sarcomas of the rectum or colon are rare.

Causes and Symptoms

Causes

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Family history of colon cancer
  • Genetic syndrome like familial adenomatous polyposis
  • Lifestyle factors
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Not exercising
  • Radiation therapy
  • Old age

Symptoms

  • Blood on or in your stool
  • Persistent changes in your bowel habits
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss and Fatigue
  • Feeling short of breath
  • Abdominal (belly) pain
  • Bloated stomach
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • abdominal cramping, gas
  • Changes in stool consistency
  • Diarrhea or constipation

Diagnosis

Colonoscopy: During a colonoscopy, the doctor inserts a lone tube with a camera at one end in the rectum to see the inside of the colon.

Biopsy: A biopsy is used to make a definite diagnosis, even if other tests may indicate that cancer is present. In a biopsy, a small quantity of tissue is first removed for evaluation under a microscope.

Biomarker testing: Your doctor might recommend laboratory tests for a tumor sample to detect specific genes or proteins unique to the tumor. This is also known as molecular testing of a tumor.

Computed tomography: A CT scan produces images of the inside of the body with the help of x-rays. A computer produces 3-dimensional image that shows all abnormalities or tumors.

Magnetic resonance imaging: An MRI creates detailed pictures of the inside parts of the body using magnetic fields. This test may be used to measure the tumor’s overall size.

Ultrasound: An ultrasound produces images of the inteal organs using sound waves to determine if cancer has spread.

Positron emission tomography: A PET scan produces pictures of organs inside the body. A PET scan is generally be combined with a CT scan.

Risk & Complications

Colon cancer poses risks such as metastasis, where cancer cells spread to other organs, potentially complicating treatment. The disease may lead to bowel obstruction, causing abdominal pain and changes in bowel habits. Perforation of the colon can result in infections, necessitating emergency surgery. Bleeding can cause anemia, requiring blood transfusions. Treatment side effects, including fatigue and nausea, impact patients. Recurrence is a conce even after successful treatment.

Preparation of Treatment

Don’t Smoke: Smoking causes various types of cancers such as colon cancer. Alcohol increases the risk of other severe diseases of the heart, stroke and emphysema.

Remain Physically Active: Regular activity lowers the risk of several serious diseases, such as colon cancer, and enhances mental health. It is good to do a physical exercise for nearly 30 minutes or more each day.

Get Screened: Getting screening tests regularly for colon cancer is the best way to protect oneself from the disease. This can detect cancer early, when it is most treatable.

Maintain a healthy weight: Many types of cancers, including colon cancer, have been linked to weight gain and obesity. If you have put on weight, try to maintain weight.

Limit alcohol: Drinking can raise the risk of colon cancer as well as breast cancer. With the other risks of alcohol consumption, quitting drinking is the best decision.

Limit red meat: Eating too much red meat raises the risk of colon cancer. Processed meats, such as sausage, bacon and bologna, increases risk even more. Eat less than three servings each week to reduce the risk.

Colon cancer surgery needs a clean and empty bowel. You need to follow a special diet before the surgery. Tell your doctor about all medications that you are taking like blood thinners, and also tell them about any medications that youu2019re allergic to. Do not eat any solid foods and drink clear liquid.You need not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of surgery. Maintain a healthy weight by following proper nutrition during cancer treatment. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol before surgery as they may interfere with the surgery and lengthen your recovery time. Take any medications that your doctor has suggested with a sip of water. Take bath the night before your surgery is scheduled.
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Treatment Option

Surgery: Treatment for a very small colon cancer may be done through minimally invasive surgery.  Usually, around one-fourth of the colon may be removed depending on the location and size of the cancer. The remaining part of the colon are then reaached.

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses strong drugs to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy for colon cancer is generally done after surgery if the cancer is big in size or has spread to adjacent lymph nodes. Chemotherapy could kill cancer cells that may be left after surgery. It helps cut the risk of the cancer coming back.

Radiation therapy: This therapy uses energy beams to destroy cancer cells. Radiation therapy can reduce the size of a large cancer before surgery to make it easier to remove. If surgery isn't a choice, radiation therapy could be used to relieve symptoms like pain. Some individuals might have radiation as well as chemotherapy at the same time.

Targeted therapy: It uses medicines that act upon some specific chemicals in cancer cells. Blockage of these chemicals, targeted treatments can cause cancer cells to be killed. Targeted therapy is mostly combined with chemotherapy. Targeted therapy is generally used for individuals with advanced colon cancer.

Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy uses medicine to boost the immune system to kill cancer cells. The immune systems fight off diseases by eliminating germs and other cells that causes health problems.

Cost of the treatment

Cost of colon cancer treatment

The colon cancer treatment cost in India ranges from $3,151 to $6,931. The variation in the overall cost is because of different options for treatment, the intensity of the treatment and many other factors such as age, type of hospital, experience of the hospital, and technology used. The price of colon cancer treatment in India is much less than that in the weste countries.

Recovery

Recovery after colon cancer treatment

After surgery for bowel cancer, you may be asked to start moving around. Even if you stay in bed, it’s important to do leg movements as well as deep-breathing exercises. To cut the risk of blood clots, you need to wear TED stockings. You should avoid driving after the procedure until you are able to move freely without pain. You need to take some pain medications as advised by your doctor. Do not lift heavy lifting for about 4–6 weeks. Gentle exercise will help you manage some of the common side effects of the surgery and help retu to their daily activities faster. You are suggested to see an exercise physiologist and physiotherapist for advice.

Recovery
Dr. Mohammad Afzal Siddiqui

Written by

Dr. Mohammad Afzal Siddiqui

Award-winning CEO of Marlin Medical Assistance Pvt. Ltd

Dr. Mohammad Afzal Siddiqui is an award-winning CEO of Marlin Medical Assistance Pvt. Ltd., a professionally managed medical tourism holding company and the active Director of Alshifa Healthcare Services Pvt. Ltd., a full-service medical tourism aggregation agency servicing JCI and NABH/ NABL accredited Hospitals across the country’s 5 locations.

In addition to Marlin, Alshifa also includes Media Group, which houses Arabic Medical Tourism e-Magazine healthandtour.com. The E-magazine “مجلة الصحة والسياحة” provides a wide scope of medical tourism information to healthcare travellers to find a safe, effective and cost-saving solution for their medical and healthcare needs. In addition to running E-Magazine, Dr. Mohammad Afzal also serves as Delhi-state coordinator in Foundation of Healthcare and Wellness Promotion focused on bringing India’s Healthcare closer to the world and smoothen world’s access to Indian Healthcare.

Frequently Asked Questions About Colon Cancer

Men and women of over 50 are mostly at more risk of developing colorectal cancer. People having a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps are at greater risk of developing the cancer. Individuals with a long-term personal history of inflammatory bowel disease are also at higher risk.

A small proportion of colon cancers are associated with certain mutations in genes that can be passed from one generation to the other. If an oncologist finds you or your family could be affected by any of mutated genes, genetic tests could be done to confirm this.

Cure may not possible for most people with metastatic colorectal cancer. However, some patients with limited involvement of distant organs can be cured with surgery. Chemotherapy is considered the most appropriate option.

The most common treatment for initial stages of colon cancer is surgery. Some people with early-stage disease might receive chemotherapy after surgery. For people with localized colon cancer, the 5-year survival rate is around 90 percent.

According to a study, even people who get curative surgical treatment have nearly 5 to 11.5% risk of colon cancer recurrence.

It is myth that when you are diagnosed with colon cancer, its spreads to other parts of the body. The reality is that the majority of individuals diagnosed with colon cancer could be treated and can live normal lives.
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