Colon Cancer: Symptoms, Stages, Causes, and Treatment

Colon Cancer Treatment in Malleshwaram Bangalore

Colon cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the colon (large intestine/bowel). It is also referred to as colon, rectal, or colorectal cancer depending on where it develops. When the tumor starts in the rectum, it is called colorectal cancer.

Colon cancer usually starts as small non-cancerous polyps which form on the inside of the colon. Over time, these polyps grow bigger and turn into colon cancer. 

Symptoms of Colon Cancer

With colon cancer, the symptoms may vary based on the size of the tumor, where it is located, and how far it has spread in the large intestine. The most common symptoms that colon cancer diagnosed patients experience are: 

  • Tiredness and regular fatigue 

  • Anaemia

  • Sudden loss of weight/appetite

  • Constipation or Diarrhoea 

  • Blood/mucus in stools/narrow stools

  • Bowel discomforts like abdominal pain or excessive gas

You should consult with a Gastroenterologist in Malleshwaram Bangalore if you have been experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms. To discuss your condition and symptoms, book an appointment with the Consultant - Medical Gastroenterology in Malleshwaram, Bangalore.

Stages of Colon Cancer

The stages of colon cancer are as follows:

Stage 0

This is the earliest stage of colon cancer in which the cancer is limited to the mucosa (the inner lining of the colon).

Stage 1

Cancer has spread to the next layer of the colon, the submucosa. It may have also grown into the muscular layer of the colon. 

Stage 2

Stage 2 colon cancer is categorized into three sections: 2A, 2B, and 2C. 

  • 2A: The tumor has grown into the outer layers of the colon.
  • 2B: It has further reached the lining of the abdominal, visceral peritoneum.
  • 2C: It has grown into nearby organs or structures, but has not spread to the outer organs or lymph nodes.

Stage 3

Stage 3 colon cancer is divided into three sections: 3A, 3B, and 3C.

  • 3A: The tumor has invaded the muscular layers of the intestine and has reached nearby tissues or lymph nodes.
  • 3B: The tumor has spread outside the bowel wall and is found in one and more lymph nodes and surrounding organs. 
  • 3C: Cancer can be found in four or more surrounding lymph nodes. No other parts of the body have been affected so far.

Stage 4

There are three stages of stage 4 colon cancer: 4A, 4B, and 4C.

  • 4A: One distant part of the body (liver or lungs) has been affected by cancer.
  • 4B: Cancer can be found in more than one organ, but not in the peritoneum.
  • 4C: Cancer has affected the peritoneum and other distant organs as well.

Risks and Causes of Colon Cancer

The exact cause of colon cancer is unknown. But, there are various risk factors that can increase the chances of developing colon cancer. 

  • Old age

Although people of any age can get develop colon cancer, the majority of people who are diagnosed with this disease are above 50 years.

  • Genetic causes

People with a family history of colon cancer are more likely to develop the disease than people who don’t. Inherited syndromes like familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) can also increase colon cancer risk.

  • Personal history

The probability of developing colon cancer increases if a person previously had colon cancer or colon polyps (noncancerous). 

  • Alcohol and Smoking

People who consume Alcohol and Tobacco are at a higher risk of developing colon cancer.

  • Obesity

Obese people make up for a higher number of colon cancer patients and have a higher risk of dying from the disease. Book an appointment at our Gastroenterology Hospital in Malleshwaram Bangalore to know about the treatment options.

  • Low fiber intake

A typical diet that has low fiber, high fat/calories, and red and processed meat is also found to be a risk factor for colon cancer.

  • Chronic inflammatory diseases

Inflammatory intestinal illnesses (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis) can increase the colon cancer risk.

Treatment of Colon Cancer

The treatment for colon cancer or colorectal cancer depends on the stage of your cancer based on which doctors suggest surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.

  • Surgery: Resection and anastomosis/colostomy /ileostomy – Usually performed in the last stage of the colon or colorectal cancer, a portion of the colon that contains the cancerous cells is removed. Visit Manipal Hospitals to know more about Colon Cancer Treatment in Malleshwaram Bangalore.

  • Chemotherapy interferes with cell division by disrupting the DNA and damaging the cells. 

  • Radiotherapy is used to kill the cancer cells by using high-energy gamma rays.

  • Targeted therapy by using drugs that enter the bloodstream and function against cancers in the different parts of the body where cancer may have spread.

  • SEMS Placement for Obstruction: Using a self-expanding metallic stent (SEMS) at the sigmoid colon help in opening the blockage in the bowel and improve the symptoms. These stents are inserted using an endoscope. The stents usually expand up to 20 mm in diameter and are known to provide relief for symptoms like constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, or nausea.  

It is often difficult to identify the presence of colon cancer in the early stages of developing the disease. Doctors suggest regular screening tests to prevent the disease early by removing the polyps before it becomes cancerous.

Dr. Harish Babu Reddy N A

Consultant - Medical Gastroenterology

Manipal Hospitals, Malleshwaram, Bangalore

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