Bowel cancer: symptomatology, diagnosis, treatment and prevention
In the structure of all cancers, colon cancer and, in particular, colon cancer, ranks second, second only to the incidence of lung cancer.In Russia and CIS countries, from colorectal cancer, also called colon cancer, the five-year mortality rate is almost 70%, that is, more than half of people with this diagnosis die within 5 years.It should also be noted that out of this amount, about 40% of patients die in the first year.Leading in mortality is cancer of the rectum.Such depressing statistics only indicate that colon cancer is very poorly diagnosed.Therefore, you need to know the signs of oncology, to identify the disease at the earliest stage!Table of contents: Clinical signs of colon cancer Diagnosis of colon cancer Stages of rectal cancer Treatment of bowel cancer Prognosis for bowel cancer Prevention of bowel cancer
Clinical signs of bowel cancerRecommended:
Symptoms of colon cancer can for a very long time notBother the patient. However, when the following signs appear, it is worthwhile to assume the oncological disease :
- a sharp decrease in body weight;
- loss of appetite;
- long subfebrile condition - a slight increase in body temperature without a clear reason for this( absence of colds, infections);
- nausea and vomiting;
Digestive disorders in the form of constipation or diarrhea - another of the first signs of bowel cancer.The manifestations of tumors depend largely on their location.For example, with tumors of the ascending and transverse colon predominate constipation. But when the rectum is affected, the following cancer symptoms appear:
- rectal bleeding - from the appearance of blood veins in the stool and ending with severe bleeding, when the blood flows non-stop( similar bleeding can occur in neglected cases);
- feeling of unfinished defecation;
- sensation of a foreign body in the rectum.
Sigmoid colon cancer can signal itself with diarrhea, flatulence, pain in the left side of the abdomen.Cancer of the caecum is much less common and manifests itself most often as a digestive disorder and with prolonged constipation, which can pass into complete intestinal obstruction.Intestinal obstruction is one of the leading symptoms of colon cancer in later stages.It is due to the fact that a growing tumor simply closes the lumen of the intestine, preventing the passage of stool.The appearance of any of the above signs is a serious reason to call a doctor for a thorough examination.
Diagnosis of intestinal cancer
A competent doctor diagnoses any disease begins with a patient's questionnaire - during the history of the disease, a specialist can identify symptoms that the patient does not pay attention to.After the questioning, the doctor proceeds to the examination, during which percussion( percussion) and palpation( palpation) of the abdominal organs are performed.The first signs of rectal cancer can be detected already at the stage of examination, for example, an increase in the abdomen, increased peristalsis or jaundice.Then comes the time of instrumental research. The following diagnostic methods help confirm or disprove the diagnosis:
- rectoscopy - examination of the rectum;
- sigmoidoscopy - examination of the rectum and sigmoid colon;
- Colonoscopy - examination through the endoscopic technique of the entire large intestine( allows to identify colorectal cancer and the blind).In the course of a colonoscopy, a doctor can take a biopsy - a piece of tissue is taken with special forceps for examination under a microscope;
- virtual colonoscopy is a tomographic technique that allows you to obtain a 3D image of the large intestine;
- Irrigoscopy is an X-ray method of examination, which allows using X-ray images to evaluate the condition of the mucosa of the large intestine;
- ultrasound examination of the intestine and other organs helps to detect not only tumors, but also their metastases.
If necessary, the doctor prescribes an MRI scan.Do not underestimate and finger research of the rectum - it allows you to detect cancer of the rectum with the first symptoms.The final diagnosis of cancer is exhibited only after a histological examination of the biopsy specimen.
Stages of colon cancer
According to the domestic classification, the development of intestinal tumors is divided into 4 stages:
- Stage 1 - the tumor captures only the mucosa and submucosa;
- 2 stage, in which 2 sub-stages are distinguished:
- 2a - the tumor extends less than half the circumference of the intestine, but does not germinate through the wall;
- 2b - the tumor also occupies not more than half the circumference of the intestine, but sprouts into its wall, although it does not go beyond it;
- Stage 3, which is also divided into 2 sub-stages:
- 3a - the tumor spreads more than half the lumen of the gut, affecting its entire thickness.There are no metastases yet;
- 3b - the tumor gives metastases to the nearest( regional) lymph nodes;
- Stage 4 - a tumor of any size, sprouting through the entire layer of the intestinal wall, extending to surrounding tissues.This stage is characterized by multiple metastases to the lymph nodes and to other organs.
Worldwide, a slightly different classification is adopted that reflects the size of the tumor, the extent of lymph node involvement and the presence of distant metastases.
According to this classification, any tumor will be encrypted as an abbreviation - TNM with indices near each letter: T - describes the tumor itself: Tis - the tumor affects only the mucosa;T1 - mucosa and submucosa affected;T2 - affected the muscular gut layer;T3 - the entire layer of the intestine is affected;T4 - tumor spreads to nearby tissues N - degree of lymph node involvement: N0 - lymph nodes intact;N1 - metastases in 1-3 lymph nodes;N2 - more than 4 lymph nodes are affected.M - presence of metastases in distant organs: M0 - absence of metastatic lesion;M1 - there are metastases in the liver or lungs.
Treatment of colon cancer
Various methods are used to get rid of cancer: surgical operations, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.The treatment of rectal cancer, like any other malignant tumor, is a very difficult and lengthy process.The best results are given by surgery, during which the tumor and surrounding tissues are removed.This is done to prevent metastasis( spread of the tumor to other organs and tissues).
Note: surgery for colon cancer is very voluminous and most often leads to patient disability - during the operation a large piece of the intestine is removed.In some situations, you have to withdraw the gut to the side of the abdomen. The surgical treatment of colon cancer( rectal cancer) is described in the video review:
For the treatment of bowel cancer, the following is also used:
- Radiation therapy when X-rays are used to inhibit tumor growth and cause the death of cancer cells.
- Radiotherapy - as a preparatory stage for surgical treatment.It is shown in the postoperative period.
- Chemotherapy - involves the introduction of cytotoxic drugs that are detrimental to the tumor.Unfortunately, these drugs negatively affect the healthy cells of the body, so chemotherapy has many unpleasant side effects: hair loss, uncontrollable nausea and vomiting.Most protocols for the treatment of colon cancer include the appointment of chemotherapy drugs that reduce the severity of complications - antiemetics, nutrients.
Prognosis for bowel cancer
Consequences for the detection of intestinal cancer largely depend on the stage at which the tumor was detected.Stage 1-2 is most favorable in terms of prognosis - the absence of metastases significantly increases the favorable outcome.It is quite possible to completely cure the patient.3 and 4 stages of colorectal cancer is the most unfavorable prognosis.Almost 100% of patients with these stages die within a year.In the best case, they live 2-3 years.That is why it is important to detect cancer at the earliest stages.
Prevention of bowel cancer
Primary cancer prevention measures are aimed at identifying early symptoms of bowel cancer.The patient must know the early signs of the disease in order to increase the chance of survival.This includes the elimination of risk factors: proper nutrition, lack of contact with harmful substances, a healthy lifestyle.Secondary prophylaxis is the regular passage of medical examinations, which allow revealing insignificant signs of bowel cancer.In the course of preventive medical examination, a patient may be assigned a colonoscopy, a sigmoidoscopy or an ultrasound of the intestine.
By the way, in Japan, a colonoscopy is an obligatory procedure that people over the age of 35 years pass annually, and at the age after 45 years - up to two times a year.This has reduced the death rate from cancer of the colon by almost half!For more information on the treatment, methods of diagnosis and prevention of bowel cancer, you will receive by reviewing this video review:
Roman Gudkov, resuscitator