Colorectal Cancer Types, Stages, Signs, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnostic Procedures, Treatment, Specialists & Doctors
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.
What are the types of colorectal cancer (bowel cancer)?
Though being the cancer of 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 from adenocarcinomas which forms in the cells that make the mucus within the colon or rectum.
The other less common types includes those caused by other types of tumors such as lymphomas which usually spread with lymph nodes in the colon; carcinoids which start in intestine within hormone making cells and sarcomas which form in the soft tissues such as muscles in the colon.
What are the signs & symptoms of colorectal cancer (bowel cancer)?
It is generally asymptomatic in 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
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Constant feeling of fullness
- Blood in the feces
- Bright red blood from rectum
- Weight loss
- Feeling tired or fatigue
Though most of these symptoms not always are suggestive of colorectal cancer, immediate consultation with an expert or nearby doctor should be done. In Delhi NCR & Ghaziabad, Yashoda Superspeciality Hospital & Cancer Institute at Sanjay Nagar provides an eminent team of doctors and specialists for consultation & consequent treatment.
What are the stages of colorectal cancer (bowel cancer)?
To know the extent and seriousness of cancer, staging guidelines are used by doctors to provide and suggest the best possible treatments.
In the earliest stages of colorectal cancer, the abnormal tissues may be present in the inner linings 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 to the lymph nodes but hasn’t affected them yet. Stage 3 indicates the movement of cancer to the lymph nodes while in stage 4 or the final stage, cancer spreads from the colon to the other organs such as the liver or lungs.
What are the risk factors of colorectal cancer (bowel cancer)?
What exactly causes colorectal cancer is still unknown but certain factors aggravate or heighten the risks of getting it. Some of the major risk factors include smoking, obesity, having type 2 diabetes, following a sedentary lifestyle, consuming a diet containing processed meats, etc. 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.
What are the diagnostic procedures for colorectal cancer (bowel cancer)?
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. The 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 analyzed for the traces of blood and other substances.
- Stool Immunochemistry: This test helps to check hidden blood in the lower colon. It is also known as fecal 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 feature via the 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 of colonoscopy or not.
- Imaging Tests: Ultrasound, CT scan or MRI scan are done to determine whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body 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 Superspeciality 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.
How is the treatment done for colorectal cancer (bowel cancer)?
After a careful examination and diagnosis of cancer, a number of treatments may be suggested by the doctor for curing it. Depending upon the size and location of the tumor; cancer stage; its nature- whether recurrent or not and person’s overall health, different kinds or combinations of treatments may be used. The various types of treatments include:
- Surgery: It is the primary treatment which is done at early stages of cancer. It involves the removal of cancerous tissue or tumors from the body and prevents the cancer from spreading.
- Chemotherapy: It is usually done in the later stages, mostly after the surgery, to destroy the remaining nods or cancer tissues and stop them from recurring or spreading. It involves a number of 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 radiations are used to destroy or shrink the cancerous cells.
Need to consult specialists/Doctors for colorectal cancer in Delhi NCR?
In Ghaziabad, Yashoda Superspeciality 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)
Dr. Manish Kumar Gupta is a very renowned and highly experienced gastroenterologist in Delhi NCR.
Dr. Sushrut Singh (Consultant, Gastroenterology & Hepatology)
Dr. Sushrut Singh is considered one of the most reputed gastroenterologists & hepatologists of Delhi NCR.