Colorectal Cancer Types, Stages, Signs, Symptoms & Treatment
Colorectal cancer or bowel cancer is the abnormal or unusual growth of cells in the large intestine (colon) or the rectum of our digestive system. It usually starts with the development of polyps in the intestine. These polyps are usually harmless but can turn into cancerous cells if not treated early.
Types of Colorectal Cancer
Though being a cancer of the colon or rectum, it differs in nature based on the types of cancerous cells. It can be of various types:
The most common type of colorectal cancer starts with adenocarcinomas which form in the cells that make mucus within the colon or rectum.
The other less common types include those caused by other types of tumours such as lymphomas which usually spread with lymph nodes in the colon; carcinoids which start in the intestine within hormone-making cells and sarcomas which form in the soft tissues such as muscles in the colon.
Certain factors aggravate or heighten the risk of getting it. Some of the major risk factors include:
- Having type 2 diabetes
- Following a sedentary lifestyle
- Consuming a diet containing processed meats
However, all these risks are avoidable and can be reduced by altering one’s lifestyle. Other risk factors are rigid and hence can’t be changed or avoided.
These include age, having a history of polyps or other bowel syndromes, a lineage of colorectal cancer and/or having certain genetic syndromes such as Crohn’s disease, Lynch Syndrome or adenomatous polyposis.
It is generally asymptomatic in the initial stages; however, it may still be identified with some of the most common symptoms that people suffering from this disease might experience. They are:
- Changes in bowel habits
- Diarrhoea or constipation
- Constant feeling of fullness
- Blood in the faeces
- Bright red blood from the rectum
- Weight loss Feeling tired or fatigue
In spite of the fact that most of these symptoms may not necessarily be indicative of colorectal cancer, immediate consultation with an expert or nearby doctor is recommended.
In Delhi NCR & Ghaziabad, Yashoda Super Speciality Hospital & Cancer Institute at Sanjay Nagar provides an eminent team of doctors and specialists for consultation & consequent treatment.
To know the extent and seriousness of cancer, staging guidelines are used by doctors to provide and suggest the best possible treatments.
In the early stages of colorectal cancer, abnormal tissues may be present in the inner lining of the colon.
In stage 1, they penetrate the lining of the colon.
In stage 2, cancer may have spread to the walls of the colon or the lymph nodes but hasn’t affected them yet.
Stage 3 indicates the movement of cancer to the lymph nodes.
In stage 4 or the final stage, cancer spreads from the colon to other organs such as the liver or lungs.
On examining the symptoms, the doctor might suggest a series of tests and exams to examine the root and real cause and nature of the disease. Diagnostic procedures include:
- Colonoscopy: This procedure includes the use of a colonoscope which contains a camera and light, providing a full view of the colon and rectum.
- Blood Stool Test: In this, a stool sample is analysed for traces of blood and other substances.
- Stool Immunochemistry: This test helps to check hidden blood in the lower colon. It is also known as faecal immunochemistry.
- Stool DNA Test: This test checks for various DNA markers that colon cancer or precancerous cells might shed into the stool.
- Flexible Sigmoidoscopy: This procedure is used to examine the rectum and sigmoid colon.
- Barium Enema X-Ray: It is used to reveal any unusual features via X-ray.
- CT Colonography: This is used to produce images of the colon. It is a predecessor of colonoscopy and its results suggest whether there is a need for colonoscopy or not.
- Imaging Tests: Ultrasound, CT scan or MRI scan are done to determine whether cancer has spread to other parts or not.
All of the above procedures should be done in consultation with specialists and under their supervision to procure the best and most reliable results.
In this regard, Yashoda Super Speciality Hospital & Cancer Institute at Sanjay Nagar is the best hospital in Delhi NCR and Ghaziabad, with the best team of doctors and advanced technologies and equipment at their disposal.
After a careful examination and diagnosis of cancer, several treatments may be suggested by the doctor for curing it.
Depending upon the size and location of the tumour; the cancer stage; its nature- whether recurrent or not and the person’s overall health, different kinds of combinations of treatments may be used.
The various types of treatments include:
- Surgery: It is the primary treatment that is done at the early stages of cancer. It involves the removal of cancerous tissue or tumours from the body and prevents cancer from spreading.
- Chemotherapy: It is usually done in the later stages, mostly after surgery, to destroy the remaining nods or cancer tissues and stop them from recurring or spreading. It involves several drugs such as Avastin, cyramza etc.
- Targeted therapy and Immunotherapy: These are used to target a specific protein to slow down the growth of cancerous cells and to signal the immune system to eliminate specific cells respectively with the use of some specific drugs.
- Radiation Therapy: In this procedure, different kinds of waves and high-frequency radiation are used to destroy or shrink cancerous cells.
In Ghaziabad, Yashoda Super Speciality Hospital & Cancer Institute is a dedicated Oncology Hospital in Sanjay Nagar which provides all of the above treatments with the most advanced technologies and a preeminent team of doctors and specialists.
The specialists include:
Dr Manish Kumar Gupta (Senior Consultant, Gastroenterology & Hepatology), is a very renowned and highly experienced gastroenterologist in Delhi NCR.
Dr Sushrut Singh (Consultant, Gastroenterology & Hepatology) is considered one of the most reputed gastroenterologists & hepatologists in Delhi NCR.
For more information, reach us at www.yashodahealthcare.com or call us at 9810922042.