Colon cancers is rated among the top five cancers in incidence around the world with variable incidences in various nations. The incidence is very high in western countries and far eat countries and it is frequently observed in Indian subcontinent. Colon cancers among the abdominal cancers generally have very good prognosis with advancements of surgical techniques and chemotherapy.
Common causes and risk factors of colon cancers
- high consumption of fat and red meat in diet
- Family history and hereditary predisposition of colon cancers
- Genetic history of colon cancers
Common symptoms of colon cancers
- Alteration of bowel habits ( constipation/ loose stools)
- Pain in localised part of abdomen with cramps
- Blood in the stools
- Swelling or lump in the abdomen
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
- Symptoms related to involvement of adjacent organs urinary bladder, stomach or pancreas depending upon location.
- Symptoms of spread to lungs, liver and brain
Diagnosis and investigations
These symptoms should not be ignored and consulted with ur clinician/ surgeon for further examination and advice. After clinical examination, patient is advised to undergo blood investigations and colonoscopy and biopsy for further examination of colon.
Contrast enhanced computerised tomography ( CECT) abdomen is done to assess the location, size, spread and involvement of surrounding structures. PET scan can be used in high suspicion of spread to other major organs of the body. Once the stage of the cancer is determined treatment is planned in accordance with surgeon and cancer specialist in best interest of patient.
Treatment of colon cancers
Surgery remains the mainstay of the treatment and provides definitive cure to the patient. Surgery depends upon the part of the colon involved( Right hemicolectomy, Right extended hemicolectomy , transverse hemicolectomy, left colectomy, anterior resection, subtotal or total colectomy). Use of minimal invasive surgery ( laparoscopic/ robotic surgery) have tremendous benefits in improving the outcomes for colon and rectal cancer surgeries and is applied at many hospital across globe. Conventional open surgery always remain an option.
Recovery after surgery
Post operative stay in hospital after colon resection surgeries is usually 3-7 days depending upon the recovery of the patients. After assessment of stage of the cancer, patient is advised for post operative chemotherapy.
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