Don’t mistake colon cancer for piles

Don’t mistake colon cancer for piles
Highlights

Don’t Mistake Colon Cancer for Piles, Formation of Polyps, Cancer Polyps. Even if cancer is detected at the last stages, the life of the patient can be prolonged with medicines. Don’t ignore problems like blood stools or piles.

Although the specific reasons for this cancer are not known, the other reasons are gene mutations, obesity, excessive consumption of red meat, lack of fibre, alcohol, smoking and radiation

Colon cancer occurs due to formation of polyps at the end part of large intestine (anus) and the unlimited growth of cells in polyps. Even though these polyps may seem harmless, there is always the danger of it turning into cancer. Getting them removed is the solution.


Although the specific reasons for this cancer are not known, the other reasons are gene mutations, obesity, excessive consumption of red meat, lack of fibre, alcohol, smoking and radiation.


It is more prevalent in developed countries, especially in Australia, New Zealand and Western Europe and less in Asian and African countries. This cancer is also found Indians who have migrated to UK and USA. Colorectal cancer, related to rectum, is more prevalent in villages in India.


Symptoms:
The symptoms depend upon the factors such as place of polyps, size and the parts affected. Loose motions, pain in lower abdomen, stiffness and gassy stomach, painful excretion, dullness and loss of weight, irritable bowel syndrome etc are the common symptoms. If these symptoms are neglected, it may spread to liver. To confirm this cancer colonoscopy, barium enema and x-ray should be done.


Cancer polyps are confirmed in biopsy, TNM system (T means tumor size, N means to know the extent of spreading of lymphnodes and M means conducting tests to see the spreading to other parts). The type of treatments is decided after conducting chest x-Ray, ultrasound, CT scan and other tests. If necessary, through Pet CT scan can determine the stage of cancer.


Prevention:
People over 50 years of age may be advised to undergo motion test (FOBT - A fecal occult blood test). It is better to get sygmoidoscopy, colonoscopy and similar tests. Besides good food habits, lifestyle can also keep this cancer at bay.


Treatment
Cancer in initial stages can be treated using radical surgery. Now-a-days these surgeries are conducted in laparoscopic (key hole surgery) method. In this method, the diseased part will be analysed with the help of high definition camera. These cameras magnify the diseased part very clearly and surgery can be performed with utmost accuracy. The patient will recover quickly in laparoscopic surgery when compared to open surgery. Depending upon patient’s health , cancer stage and the type of cancer either chemotherapy, radio therapy or both together would be given.


Even if cancer is detected at the last stages, the life of the patient can be prolonged with medicines.
Don’t ignore problems like blood stools or piles. Get a sygmoidoscopy test done which is useful for testing anus and rectum to rule out cancer. The problem could get aggravated if patients indulge in self medication thinking that it is due to heat in the body or piles.


(The doctor is MS (Gen), DNB (Surg), Mch (Surg, Onco), FRCS, (Edin) Diploma in lap Surg (France) Chief Surgical Oncologist, Vamsy1964 @gmail.com 9848011421)

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