Treatment of colon cancer in Germany
Colon cancer is a pathological process that is characterized by the malformation growth from the mucous membrane of the large intestine.
Possible locations of the tumour are:
- The sigmoid colon - 50%
- Cecum - 15%
- Ascending colon - 12%
- Transverse colon - 5%
- The descending colon - 5%
- Right elbow of the bowel - 8%
- Left elbow of the bowel - 5%
This disease is amongst the most common types of the malignant formations. The incidence of colon cancer is 15-20 cases per 100 thousands of population a year. The highest incidence is observed in the USA and Western European countries.
Causes of Colon cancer
Colon cancer is mostly developed from the polyps, which are the precancerous condition. The main risk factors of the disease include:
Physical inactivity. It is assumed that the low physical activity leads to a slow intestinal motility. This reduces the rate of evacuation of the intestinal contents, and increases the contact time of the colon wall with the carcinogens.
Diet peculiarities. Some foods help to clean the intestines from carcinogens. It can be any product rich in fibre. Therefore, low consumption of vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, cereals increases the risk of cancer in the colon.
The consumption of products containing carcinogens. The impact on the risk of developing cancer increases upon the consumption of smoked food, food cooked in vegetable oil and subjected to prolonged thermal stress.
Effect of endotoxin. Excessive intake of meat protein foods increases the likelihood of the disease, as in the process of metabolism N-nitrosamines are formed, which have a carcinogenic effect.
Colon cancer - Symptoms
At the initial stage there are no symptoms, therefore it is only possible to detect a tumour during a colonoscopy. Among the earliest symptoms the following are experienced:
- Traces of blood in the stool
- Reduced caliber of stool
- Gastrointestinal discomfort
- Abdominal pain
- Deterioration of general condition
Symptoms of colon cancer depend on the location of the tumour. In the right part of the intestine the absorption of the nutrients is more intense, hence the cancer is manifested with the intoxication syndrome. Products of the tumour breakdown are absorbed into the blood causing fever, weakness, and headache and general malaise.
Denser stool masses are formed in the left part of the intestine. Therefore, if the tumour is located on the left side, the symptoms of the intestinal obstruction predominate. They include:
- Attacks of acute cramping pain
Depending on the predominating one or another group of symptoms, six clinical forms of colon cancer are differentiated:
- Diarrhea (lack of appetite, belching, nausea)
- Obstructive (intestinal obstruction)
- Enterocolitis (diarrhea, blood and mucus in the stool)
- Toxic-anaemia (mainly common symptoms)
- Pseudo-inflammation (abdominal pain and high body temperature)
- Tumour (shown only palpable tumour)
Pain is the most common symptom of colon cancer. 90% of patients experience pain. The pathological impurities in the faeces (mucus, blood, pus) are experienced by 50% of patients.
Colon cancer - Diagnostics
If colon cancer is suspected the following methods can help to confirm the diagnosis:
X-ray research. The contrasting medium is inserted into the intestine. Then an X-ray image (ergograph) can be taken or the doctor examines the intestine in real time (barium enema). The most informative is a study with double contrast, when, after a bowel movement from the barium mixture the air is introduced there.
With the help of the ergograph the following things can be determined:
- Size and location of the tumour
- The degree of narrowing of the intestine
- Presence of ulcerations in the tumour
Colonoscopy is an endoscopic method of the diagnostics connected with an instrument insertion into the colon through the rectum. It helps to take the biopsy for histological examination.
The following methods are used to determine the degree of the extent of the pathological process and detect metastases:
- Aspirational fine-needle biopsy of the liver (the most common spot of detecting the metastases of colon cancer)
Treatment of Colon cancer abroad
The main treatment for bowel cancer is surgery. Operations can be done, during which the organ affected by the tumour, the mesentery and lymph nodes are removed.
During germination of the tumour into nearby tissue an extended resection of the bowel is performed. It presupposes the removal of the portions of the small intestine, bladder, liver or other organs, depending on the clinical situation.
Auxiliary treatment methods are:
- Chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Drugs and distant irradiation is indicated as an addition to radical surgery.
- Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. During surgery, the abdomen is rinsed with a chemotherapy fluid that is heated up to 42 degrees. This procedure reduces the risk of relapse by eliminating micrometastases and tumour remnants.
- Embolization of the branches of the hepatic artery is used in the case of liver metastases and helps to reduce the blood access to the malformation, slowing its growth.
The latest (innovative) treatment and diagnostics methods of Colon cancer abroad
Medical science does not stand still. New cancer treatments - surgical and conservative – are constantly developing. In recent years the following technologies and medications made an appearance:
- Laparoscopic bowel resection has the same efficiency as a common operation, but it is accompanied by a much lesser traumatization of the patient's tissue. The intervention is performed through several small incisions, which significantly reduces and simplifies the postoperative period.
- Robot-associated operations. The use of robotics performs the surgical interventions much more accurately. As a result, the mortality of patients during surgery and the risk of postoperative complications are reduced.
- New methods of the immunotherapy are being researched and will be available soon for the practical application of the vaccine against colon cancer. It will be inserted into patients after surgical treatment in order to prolong remission and reduce the risk of relapse. Also, new drugs - inhibitors of control points have appeared. They inhibit the signalling molecules that protect cancer cells from destruction by the human immune system.
Colon cancer - Prognosis
The disease is characterized by a more favourable prognosis compared with many other cancer pathologies.
In recent years the significant reduction of mortality of colon cancer sufferers was realised because this disease:
- Metastasizes late
- Slowly growing
- In most cases it is resectable
After radical treatment the overall five-year survival is about 50%. It is close to 100%, if the tumour is within the submucosa.
A lot depends on the presence or absence of metastases in the lymph nodes. If they are present, the five-year survival rate is 40%, if not - 80%.
Prognosis is better for exophytictumour growth in the gut lumen, than for the endophytic towards the intestinal wall. Prognosis is better for the high-differentiated formations than for low-differentiated.
Here you can find the cost of treatment for this disease at the German University Hospitals. Leave a request and we will provide a free consultation with a doctor and will start organizing the whole treatment process.
The program includes the following:
- Issuing of an invitation for getting a visa for treatment as quick as possible
- Fixing an appointment at a time convenient for you
- Preliminary organization of a comprehensive examination and discussion of the forthcoming treatment plan
- Arranging transfer from the airport to the hospital and back to the airport
- Provision of interpreting services and services of a personal medical coordinator
- If necessary, assistance in the organization of further surgical treatment
- Provision of a medical insurance against treatment complications covering up to 200,000 euro
- Preparation and translation of medical records and recommendations from the hospital
- Assistance in the subsequent communication with your attending physician, including consultations on repeated X-ray images through the unique medical document management system E-doc