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Colon Cancer : Diagnosis and Treatment of Colon Cancer

If your signs and symptoms indicate that you could have colon cancer, your doctor may recommend one of more tests to be done:
– Blood Tests
– Using a scope to examine the inside of your colon.
– Using dye and X-rays to make a picture of your colon.
– Using multiple CT images to create a picture of your colon.
– Manual examination by inserting a gloved finger into the rectum in order to identify lumps or adenomas.
– Biopsy is a painless procedure when a tiny sample of the affected tissue is taken and used to trace the cancerous cells.
If cancer is present, the next step is to determine how advanced the tumour is and how far it has spread. Staging helps determine what treatments are most appropriate for you.
– Stage 0: Cancer is in the earliest stage.
– Stage 1: Cancer has grown through the mucosa but hasn’t spread beyond the colon wall or rectum.
– Stage 2: Cancer has grown to the wall of colon or rectum but has not spread to lymph nodes.
– Stage 3: Cancer has affected lymph nodes but not other parts.
– Stage 4: Cancer has spread to other parts and organs.
– Recurrent: This means your cancer has come back after treatment.

TREATMENT FOR COLON CANCER

The main focus is removing the primary tumour that caused the cancer and preventing the spread of malignant cells further into the body. Depending on the stage, there are three primary treatment options are: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
SURGERY
– Surgery involves removing the affected part and conjoining the healthy parts of the colon.
– How much of your colon has to be removed depends on the location and particular characteristics of your tumor.
– The surgeon can recommend colectomy if your colon cancer has grown into or through your colon in which colon is removed along with a margin of normal tissue on either side of the cancer. Nearby lymph nodes are usually also removed and tested for cancer.

CHEMOTHERAPY
– Chemotherapy can be used to destroy cancer cells after surgery, to control tumor growth or to relieve symptoms of colon cancer.
– It uses drugs to destroy cancer cells.

RADIATION THERAPY
– It uses powerful energy sources, such as X-rays, to kill any cancer cells that might remain after surgery.
– It helps to shrink large tumors before an operation so that they can be removed more easily.
– It can also be used to relieve symptoms of colon cancer and rectal cancer.

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