Colon cancer is a neoplastic tumor that develops in the epithelial tissue of the human body. Epithelial tissue is covering all internal organs, so it`s present in all parts of the body. The mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract also comprises epithelial tissue. Colon cancer is very widespead in developed countries such as the Germany, America, China, Japan and it is more rare in Africa and its southern parts. Colon cancer is also known as cancer of large intestine. The bowel cancer incidence of colon cancer is higher among males than females. It most often affects older people, but this abnormality can also be detected among the young.
Anatomically, the colon is a terminal end of the gastrointestinal tract, originating from the valve where the small intestine transits into the large) and ending in the anus.
Colon cancer risk causes are:
The chances of colon cancer increase after age 50.
2. Inflammatory bowel disease.
Diseases of the bowel, such as ulcerative colitis and disease of Crohn.
Ulcerative colitis is characterized by inflammation and the formation of multiple little plagues in the colon. The disease of Crohn may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Unlike ulcerative colitis, pathological process of Crohn's disease may involve all layers of the intestinal wall. The danger of these two diseases is that long-term inflammation process of the intestinal wall promotes regeneration of normal cells into neoplastic cells.
3. Genetic predisposition.
If the person has close relatives (parents, siblings), who had had bowel cancer - the risk is greatly increased. Scientists estimate that 25% of cases of intestinal cancer are due to genetic factors. Some tumors are hereditary, while others can be acquired throughout life.
In human genetic code there are certain genes (genes supressing tumor) that can prevent the formation of cancerous tumors by regulating the growth of human cells in the body. They also prevent rapid and uncontrolled cell division. During the hereditary predisposition these genes cease to function properly and this susequently leads to the development of cancerous tumors.
4. The ethnic factor.
It is noted that people of Jewish and Arabic origin have colon cancer much more often.
5. The food factor.
Fatty food and refined carbohydrates (regular soluble sugar) are a predisposing risk factor. Particular attention should be given to the choice of of bread - yeast bread can become a starting point in the cancer of large intestine development.
6. Physical inactivity
People leading a sedentary office lifestyle are also under the risk zone. A sedentary lifestyle weakens the already smooth muscles of the intestine. As a result, food stagnates in the intestine, the person has constipation and many harmful bacteria start to live in the colon. Respectively, the fermentation process starts, harmful toxins are produced and the gut function is disrupted.
Recent studies have discovered that smokers are 20 - 30% more likely to die from cancer of large intestine. During the combustion of tobacco the person gets a lot of toxic and carcinogenic substances into his lungs. These substances are soaked into the blood and it affects the large intestine.
8. Chronic alcoholism.
Alcohol has a destructive effect on the inner wall of the intestine and toxic metabolites are forming in the colon, which can later turn into the malignant cells.
9. The polyps.
The presence of precancerous polyps in the bowel can transform into a cancerous tumor.
At the initial stage cancer de colon develops without symptoms.
Local symptoms of colon cancer
Common signs of colon cancer
The collapse of the colon is accompanied by significant chronic blood loss.
In most cases, the cancer develops from adenomatous polyps (glandular tissue), so early detection of colon polyps is extremely important to prevent colon cancer. For the diagnosis the doctors includes the following informative diagnostic techniques:
1) Digital rectum examination
This procedure is performed at a doctor's office and does not require any special equipment. For rectal examination the patient can take a variety of body positions:
lying on side with legs bent at the knee
lying on his back with knees bent
The doctor inserts a finger right into the rectum and lubricates the finger with Vaseline. After that he explores the lower rectum department for the presence of tumors.
2) Endoscopic studies
Long and flexible tube which is equipped with a video camera is inserted into the rectum. Colonoscopy image displayed on the monitor allows the doctor see the entire colon. If during the procedure the physician detects polyps, he can immediately remove them or take tissue samples for further histological analysis.
Blood tests may reveal anemia, which is a consequence of bleeding intestinal tumor. It is
Biopsy takes tissue samples for microscopic examination.
For primary colon cancer the most effective treatment is surgery. The degree of interference produced by the operation depends usually on the stage of the disease and the general state of the patient. Adjunctive therapy are chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
The majority of patients (85-90%) suffering from colon cancer undergo radical surgery, which is called a partial colectomy or hemicolectomy. This procedure can be performed by a large incision in the anterior wall of the abdomen (open surgery) or by several small incisions. Recovery after surgery depends on the patient's age, his general condition and the extent of the surgery.
Another method of treatment for colon cancer is chemotherapy. This method involves the use of drugs that can reduce the probability of metastasis and prevent its rapid growth. Chemotherapy is often used before surgery.
The use of chemotherapeutic agents in the treatment of colon cancer is often accompanied by side effects such as nausea, vomiting, inflammation of the intestinal mucosa, diarrhea, white blood cells (neutropenia) as well as hair loss.
The method is based on the X-rays, which have a destructive effect on tumor cells. Radiation therapy may be used postoperatively to destroy cancer cells remaining after surgical intervention, thereby preventing the occurrence of secondary tumors. Radioactive method can also be used preoperatively to reduce a large volume of the tumor. This greatly simplifies the task of the surgeon during the subsequent removal of the tumors.Hide
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