Colon cancer occupies one of the leading places among all malignant tumors. Currently, there is a steady increase in both morbidity and mortality rates from intestinal cancer.
Colon cancer is the second most common cancer that affects mainly the elderly.
Colon cancer is represented by benign and malignant neoplasms, different in shape, localization, and histological structure. Typically, the disease begins with small, benign polyps that form on the inside of the colon. Over time, polyps can develop into a malignant tumor.
Benign colon tumors can be asymptomatic and are often detected by doctors during a general diagnostic examination.
Also, signs of benign colon tumors are diarrhea, abdominal pain, and blood in the stool. Villous tumors can lead to anemia. Large benign formations also cause intestinal obstruction.
Blood in the stool without mucous impurity content manifests itself as a tumor of the sigmoid colon. The pathology of the descending colon is evidenced by dark mucous content. In malignant formations of the proximal intestine, bleeding, often latent, is expressed only in anemia. Also, symptoms of colon cancer can be a false urge to egest, which are caused by spasms of the anus sphincters. In the later stages of tumor formation, constipation and intestinal obstruction appear. There may also be a feeling of incomplete defecation. Besides, in patients with colon cancer, symptoms such as decreased appetite, weakness, and sudden weight loss are noted. As the disease progresses, the liver enlarges, and an accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity appears.
If benign tumors in patients are detected early, they can be removed during the colonoscopy and the risk of cancer can be reduced. Therefore, even for healthy people under the age of 50, doctors recommend regular screening tests. If colon cancer has developed, there are currently many treatments for it.
Patients with colon cancer often experience the following symptoms:
- Increased fatigue and weakness, irritability, decreased appetite, bad breath, sleep disturbances
- Nausea, vomiting, increased bloating, abdominal pain, a feeling of heaviness in the epigastric region
- Increased gas production, diarrhea or constipation, periodic severe abdominal pain
- Blood presence in the stool
- Constant sharp pains in the rectal area, lack of physiological relief after defecation
- General weakness, increased fatigue, low-grade fever, anemia, weight loss
If colon cancer is suspected, patients are often referred to undergoing the following examinations:
- Blood tests ( general blood test, liver enzyme and tumor markers CEA and CA19-9)
- Fecal test
It helps to detect minor blood contents in the stool (used as a screening test for the early diagnosis of colon cancer)
During the procedure, which is usually performed under sedation, an endoscope (a thin optic probe with a camera) is inserted through the rectum into the colon and the doctor is allowed to visually examine the intestinal cavity. If polyps are found, they are usually removed. Also, a biopsy is sometimes done during a colonoscopy. For patients over 50, colonoscopy is recommended every 5-10 years.
This innovative examination uses a CT device to simulate images of the colon and abdomen.
With these diagnostic methods, doctors obtain detailed images of the body's soft tissues; these studies are carried out to detect metastasis.
Radioactive sugar is injected into the blood during the procedure. Fast-growing cancer cells absorb more sugar than healthy cells. Thus, a larger amount of radioactive substance accumulates in the tumor tissue, and a special camera provides detailed images of these areas. Based on this, doctors identify the localization of tumor cells in patients.
The main treatment for patients with colon cancer is surgery. Improvement in the surgery technique and anesthetic management made it possible to reduce the number of complications and postoperative mortality. Previously, complex chemotherapy was used to treat patients with metastatic colon cancer, the effect of which, unfortunately, did not significantly prolong the life of patients. The problem is that metastases in the peritoneum don’t have powerful blood supply as, for example, the liver. Because of this, the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs decreases.
The achievement of recent years in the field of oncological practice is the techniques of surgery conducting with the opening of the abdominal cavity (laparotomy), removal of neoplasms visible (cytoreductive surgery), and subsequent rinsing of the abdominal cavity with a hot solution of modern chemotherapeutic drugs. The innovative technique, called hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), has already become widespread all over the world.
The goal of cytoreductive surgery is the removal of all tumor foci detected in the patients, including the primary tumor and distant metastases. When planning cytoreductive surgery in patients with multiple locations of the metastases, the development of surgery tactics should be carried out for patients individually at a consultation with surgeons, radiologists, and chemotherapists, taking into account various prognostic factors.
The advantage of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is the injection of the anticancer drugs directly into the abdominal cavity at significantly higher dosages, which ensures their higher concentration in the affected tissues with minimal risk of complications. The use of high temperature, to which malignant tumor cells are more sensitive than unaffected tissues, enhances the therapeutic effect. HIPEC can deliver drug doses 20 times higher than conventional chemotherapy. And high temperatures enhance their action and at the same time damage tumor cells at the DNA level, disrupting the process of their recovery.
At the first stage of intraperitoneal chemotherapy HIPEC, cytoreductive surgery is performed, which includes partial removal of most of the tumor. Cytoreductive surgery is relevant in cases where the removal of the entire lesion is impossible. Then the patients are injected with a solution of chemotherapy drugs warmed up to 42 degrees Celsius. The abdominal cavity is thoroughly washed after the cytoreductive surgery, after that the chemotherapy drug is drained, and the peritoneum is sutured.
Most often, the method of HIPEC is used in the treatment of tumors of the gastrointestinal tract – stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, peritoneal mesothelioma, metastases in the abdominal cavity from other types of cancer.
In general, the result of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) largely depends on the form of the malignant oncological process and the degree of tumor cells’ spread, and the more limited it is, the more possible performing the HIPEC becomes.
In terms of contraindications the most common are: the presence of numerous distant, localized far from the abdominal cavity metastases (in the lungs, bones, brain), extensive damage to the peritoneum, involvement in the process of vital organs, and a pronounced deterioration in the general physical condition of patients.
Unfortunately, not every patient can be prescribed HIPEC. In each clinical case, the question of the expediency of this procedure is decided for patients on an individual basis.
However, with HIPEC, doctors are saving the lives of patients in situations that were previously considered hopeless. It is particularly effective in the treatment of peritoneal carcinosis (on the spread of cancer cells to the peritoneum). At the same time, HIPEC is especially effective in ovarian cancer and tumors originating from the appendix (pseudomyxoma peritonei). It also gives good results in peritoneal carcinomatosis regarding colon cancer, some types of stomach cancer, and cancer of the small intestine, with peritoneal mesothelioma and primary adenocarcinoma of the peritoneum.
Besides, the HIPEC method can be used as a kind of palliative measure, pursuing its goal not to completely heal the patient (for example, with advanced stages of cancer), but to eliminate complications of the disease.
Where can I undergo CRS and HIPEC treatment abroad?
Health tourism becomes more and more popular these days, as medicine abroad, often ensures a much better quality of colon cancer treatment.
The following hospitals show the best success rates in colon cancer treatment with CRS and HIPEC:
- University Hospital of Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany
- Charite University Hospital Berlin, Germany
- University Hospital Ulm, Germany
- Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Israel
- University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden, Germany
You can find more information about the hospitals on Booking Health website.
The cost of treatment abroad
The prices in hospitals listed on Booking Health are relatively low. With Booking Health, you can undergo colon cancer treatment with CRS and HIPEC at an affordable price.
The cost of treatment varies, as the price depends on the hospital, specifics of the disease, and the complexity of its treatment.
The cost of treatment of colon cancer with HIPEC and CRS in Germany is 38,154-67,436 EUR.
The cost of treatment of colon cancer with HIPEC and CRS in Israel is approximately 41,292 EUR.
You might want to consider the cost of possible additional procedures and follow-up care. Therefore, the ultimate cost of treatment may differ from the initial price.
To make sure that the overall cost of treatment is suitable for you, contact us by leaving the request on Booking Health website.
How can I undergo CRS and HIPEC treatment abroad?
It is not easy to self-organize any treatment abroad. It takes certain knowledge and expertise. Thus, it is safer, easier, and less stressful to shift some responsibility onto a medical tourism agency.
As the largest and most transparent medical tourism agency in the world, Booking Health has up-to-date information about colon cancer treatment with CRS and HIPEC in the best hospitals. Therefore, we will help you select the right clinic taking into account your wishes for treatment.
We want to help you and take on all the troubles. You can be free of unnecessary stress, while Booking Health takes care of all organizational issues regarding the treatment. Our services aimed at you safely and successfully undergoing treatment with cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC.
Medical tourism can be easy!
All you need to do is to leave a request on Booking Health website and our manager will contact you shortly.