Colon-CancerColon is the lower part of our digestive system. It starts in the right lower side of abdomen, then goes up and take a turn near liver, goes horizontally to the left up to spleen, then goes down up to rectum. It is a long tube like structure. Cancer may affect colon. Usually affects the people above the age of 50 years. But due to food adulteration and other chemical toxins in the environment we are having cancer in younger age also. It may present as change of bowel habits, abdominal pain, distension, bleeding with stool. Bleeding sometimes evident, sometimes occult. Before being aware of the cancer, one may suffer from shortage of blood and weakness. There may be constipation followed by diarrhea. In most of the cases when the patient notice all the symptoms, cancer may grow bigger so that it can be felt from outside the abdomen. In the developed countries by the time colon cancer is diagnosed, 25% of them are found to be inoperable. Because of the fact that cancer by this time has spread to the surrounding structures like urinary bladder, pancreas, urethra etc.

Both sexes are affected equally. Colon cancer can run into families. If father, mother or siblings are affected then their blood relatives have more chance to develop it. Colon cancer grows from benign polyp. These require few years to develop cancer. If we do colonoscopy in high risk group for screening, we can detect more benign polyps. These polyps can be excised by colonoscopy.

Diagnostic tools include colonoscopy & biopsy, barium enema x-ray of colon, ultra sonogram, ct-scan, CEA, etc.

Prevention: Healthy dietary habit like eating green vegetables, fruits, fiber containing food, avoiding smoking, avoiding rich and fatty food. Exercise may help preventing colon cancer.

Treatment: Colonic polyps should be removed by colonoscopy. Colon cancer needs surgical operation. Operation must be done by following oncological principles of surgery. Affected area of colon along with surrounding area of fat & lymphatic must be removed. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be given before or after operation.
If the patient comes in time and operation performed at an earlier stage patient may be fully cured of this disease.


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