Colorectal Cancer is posing the risk of cancer-related death in Pakistani youth. We need to create awareness in society and medical professionals alike. Any bleed from Anus or other risk factors should not overlook in young patients. Early diagnosis plays a crucial role in the successful treatment of colorectal cancer. The diagnostic approach is based upon Family and personal history. Thorough physical checkup, colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, and Barium x-ray. Treatment of CRC dependent upon several factors, age, overall health status, and stage of the disease. And may include either use of single or multiple treatment options of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. Every treatment procedure carries no side effects, most commonly, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, loss of appetite, anemia, fatigue, dizziness, hair loss, and elevated body temperatures.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
This article part of our awareness series and aimed at educating Pakistani society about the increased risk of Colorectal Cancer.
Early diagnosis of Colorectal Cancer is very crucial as the end-stage disease is very difficult to treat with very poor prognosis. Early screening helps us in the removal of pre-cancerous polyps and stops its progress into the malignant stage. We need to re-educate our medical professionals and parents alike who consider CRC as the disease of old. Colorectal Cancer in young people on the rise and the mortality rate is higher due to late diagnosis. Young patients with rectal bleed or other alarm signs should evaluated with early endoscopy rather than the unfortunately common practice of attributing these symptoms to hemorrhoids. Early diagnosis of colon cancer increases the chances of recovery. In the advanced stage of CRC, the first metastasis site commonly the liver, so it becomes increasingly difficult to treat it.
Diagnosis of Colorectal Cancer:
Most cases of colon cancer originate from noncancerous tumors, that grow in the large intestine. Family history, several genetic disorders, diabetes, and a particular lifestyle put a person at an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. Personal and family history, physical examination, and a series of tests are performed to diagnose or stage colorectal cancer.
A special diet followed 48 prior to it. Strong laxatives used to cleanse the colon before this procedure. Then a long tube with a camera inserted into the colon to examine it for any polyp growth. If any polyp found a sample of it sent for biopsy to rule out the presence of any cancerous cells.
A similar procedure called flexible sigmoidoscopy used to examine a small portion of the colorectal area.
Double Contrast Barium Enema
The patient advised to fast for several houses than Barium is used to obtain a clear x-ray image. In this procedure, the doctor will inject the Barium solution into the colon through the rectum and will smooth it through the use of the air pump. An x-ray then conducted where polyps or tumors look like the dark outlines.
If a biopsy indicates the presence of cancerous or precancerous cells. Then X-ray, ultrasound, or CT scans are advised to know the extent of spread to other organs. The size and extent of tumors and spread of it to other body parts used for cancer staging and making decisions about treatment options.
Treatment options are based upon careful evaluation of several factors including type and stage of colorectal cancer, age and overall health of the patient, and any underly disease. The aim to remove Cancer, prevent its spread, or mitigate uncomfortable symptoms, through the use of single or multiple treatment regimes.
- Surgery used to remove part or all of the colon called colectomy. During the procedure part of the cancerous colon, surrounding tissue and Lymph nodes are removed. Then the remaining healthy part reattached or a stoma( surgical opening) made in the abdomen to pass out waste material.
- Endoscopy also used to remove localized, small cancerous polyps.
- Laparoscopic surgery making several small incisions for the removal of large polyps.
- Palliative surgery only used to relieve symptoms associated with blockage, pain, or bleeding. This type of surgery used for untreatable advanced stage cancers only
– Detailed Insights
- Chemotherapy the use of cancer medication to help stop the spread of cancer cells. These medicines interfere with the DNA of rapidly dividing cells, so they kill Cancer cells and rapidly dividing body cells alike, but body cells can recover while cancerous cells can’t. Chemotherapy given in cycles to ensure body cell recovery but still carries significant side effects including, nausea, hair loss, fatigue, anemia, and elevated body temperatures.
- Radiation therapy kills cancer cells by a focus on high energy gamma rays on them. External radiation used through machines or internal radiation through the implant of radiative material near cancerous tissue. Side effects of radiation include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, localized skin burn, appetite loss, and weight loss.
- Either single or a combination of the above-mentioned procedures can use for the treatment of colorectal cancer.