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Colon Cancer Treatment

Colon Cancer Treatment

 Colon is the last part of the digestive system that helps to transport waste material out of the body after absorbing its remaining salt and water contents. Colon cancer (aka. gastrointestinal stromal tumors) starts when mutated cancer cells form and proliferate in the tissue of the colon.

Some risk factors in developing colon cancer include:

  • Family history of colon cancer
  • Hereditary conditions such as adenomatous polyposis and nonpolyposis or Lynch Syndrome
  • Medical history of ulcerative colitis or Crohn disease.
  • Medical history of cancer of the rectum, ovary or breast.
  • Personal history of colon polyps

 It is recommended to see a physician if you experience any combination of the following symptoms caused by colon cancer:

  • Vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Gas pains, cramps, fullness, bloating
  • Narrow stools
  • Changing stool texture, constipation, diarrhea
  • Blood in the stool
  • Change in the digestive pattern 

In order to determine with certainty which colon cancer treatment to follow, the colon and rectum most be mapped to diagnose and locate cancer.

  • Physical examination and medical history are fundamental to check general physical condition.
  • Digital rectal exam – consists of an exam of the rectum, where the nurse inserts a lubricated finger into the rectum. Doctors check for lumps or anything unusual.
  • Fecal occult blood test – checks for blood in the solid waste. Specialists take samples and examine them in the microscope.
  • Barium enema – consists of x-raying the lower gastrointestinal tract and a barium injection into the rectum to coat the tract.
  • Sigmoidoscopy – a procedure to revise the rectum and lower colon for polyps and abnormal cell growths.
  • Colonoscopy – where a colonoscope (with light and lenses) is inserted to remove polyps and tissue samples for biopsy.
  • Virtual colonoscopy or colonography (CT) – uses x-rays to take pictures or tomographies of the colon. Computers create detailed images and show polyps or unusual textures.
  • Biopsy -T is the removal of tissue to be examined under the microscope.


Colon cancer treatment

Colon cancer may be aimed through curation or palliation, depending on different factors such as patient’s health, preferences and the stage of the tumor. Palliation relieves symptoms caused by the cancer.

  • Other management ways for colon cancer are:
  • Colon cancer surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Drug therapy

 Colon Cancer Surgery

Once the cancer has been localized, a preferred colon cancer treatment is surgical removal, which can be done by:

  • Open Laparotomy
  • Open Laparoscopy

In some cases, chemotherapy is used before colon cancer surgery in order to shrink the tumor before removing it.

The doctor will recommend the type of treatment depending on the stage of the cancer.

For the early stages of colon cancer, where the tumor is localized in a polyp, it is possible to remove it during colonoscopy, laparoscopic surgery, or using endoscopic mucosal resention when polyps are large.

Invasive colon cancer surgery involves a partial colectomy, where the part of the colon that contains the cancer is removed. Tissue and nearby lymph nodes are also removed. During the colon cancer surgery the surgeon will reconnect the healthy portions.

For advanced cancer, the surgery has palliative purposes in order to relieve bleeding and pain.


 Colon Cancer Treatments Abroad

Colon cancer surgery abroad offers innovative environments for international patients who seek colon cancer treatment abroad. Clinics in Israel and Thailand offer interdisciplinary teams of consulting specialists (surgical oncologists, interventional radiologists) who personalize the best colon cancer treatment for each patient.

Patients who consider colon cancer treatments abroad should plan carefully:

Choose hospitals that have trained stoma care nurses, who are particularly beneficial in the follow-up. Do not forget to ask for travel insurance, dietary restrictions and surgeon certificates.