|Join Nairaland / Login / Trending / Recent / New|
Stats: 1063557 members, 1237638 topics. Date: Saturday, 25 May 2013 at 07:12 PM
|Facts About Colorectal Cancer by Jarus(m): 1:17pm On Mar 13|
Death by cancer is now very common today. I think it is high time we all made a habit reading and knowing about various health issues - who knows, you may be the one that will identify a symptom and ask a known person to visit his doctor.
Of course, not being doctors or health practitioners, we are not licensed to and must never claim diagnosis of any health challenge, but I think it is high time everyone knew something about health. Subscribing to reliable health journals or sites may be of help.
2 years ago, I overheard a friend talk to his brother on phone, that their sick mum had blood in her stool. From my basic health knowledge, I almost asked them to go see a gastroeneterolgist for colon cancer screening for the sick mum. I didn't do, because I didn't want to interfere in their family affairs. The mum died few months later, most likely from colorectal cancer (but pls, not all cases are blood-in-stool are colorectal cancers o. It can be less severe cases like pile/heamorrage but in any case, see your doctor asap whe you notice one. Colonoscopy may be required to ascertain, esp when it is persistent)
This article, which I sourced from medhelp.org, one of the health sites I subscriibed to, takes us through colorectal cancer - causes, symptoms, treatment options etc.
|Re: Facts About Colorectal Cancer by Jarus(m): 1:19pm On Mar 13|
1, Why Awareness is the Key
Cancer never sounds good. Pair the word "cancer" with it, and any body part seems tainted and taboo. So it's no surprise that people don't like talking about colorectal cancer, even if it is the third most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women in the U.S. It's not pleasant or pretty, but a little extra awareness might make colorectal cancer a lot less dangerous. Read on to know the signs, symptoms, and how to reduce your risk
2, Basic Terminology
First, a quick definition to clear up confusion: Colon cancer and colorectal cancer aren't quite synonymous, though people often use the terms interchangeably. Your colon is the biggest part of your large intestine, making up the first four to five feet, and the rectum is the last several inches. Colon cancer and rectal cancer behave very similarly, though colon cancer is diagnosed more than twice as often as rectal cancer; the term colorectal cancer effectively combines the two. Treatment varies based on the location of the initial (called primary) tumor, so it's important to know the difference.
3, The Root of the Problem
About 95 percent of colorectal cancers start with a polyp, which are benign, slow-growing clusters of cells that grow on the intestinal wall and usually have a mushroom-like appearance. Polyps are common - about 30 to 40 percent of adults 50 and older develop them - and usually harmless - most polyps won't ever turn into cancer. However, because polyps often develop without causing any symptoms, colorectal cancer screening is a crucial part of your regular medical exam if you're age 50 or older.
4, When a Polyp Goes Rogue
Of the three types of colon polyps, only one, called adenomatous polyps, or adenomas, can turn into cancer. However, adenomas are the most common type, comprising about two-thirds of colon polyps. Fortunately, adenomas grow very slowly, and not all adenomas turn cancerous. If they do, they usually take more than 10 years to become malignant, giving you ample time to catch and remove them, which makes colorectal cancer highly preventable with routine colorectal cancer screening.
5, Other Causes
Polyps are the most common precursor to colon cancer, but they're not the only ones. Nonpolypous lesions, which are harder to detect than polyps, can also grow into cancer cells. At least in the case of colon cancer, these inconspicuous cells are far more rare than polyps.
|Re: Facts About Colorectal Cancer by Jarus(m): 1:19pm On Mar 13|
6, Problems from Polyps
If polyps do evolve into cancer cells, you may start to notice some symptoms. While stomach cramps, persistent gas, fatigue or noticeable changes in your bowel movements and blood in your stool don't sound like "good news" you should consider yourself fortunate to catch symptoms early. Symptoms can be rare, and they're your doctor's best chance to diagnose you early and start a simpler course of treatment.
7, When to Watch Your Risk
After your 50th birthday, it's time to be on the lookout. About 90 percent of all people with colorectal cancer are over 50. While African-Americans are at a higher risk, this cancer doesn't discriminate; everyone ages 50 and up needs regular colorectal cancer screening tests.
8, Know Your History
If your family has a history of polyps, then you're more likely to develop them, but no one's sure why. And if you've already had polyps or colon cancer yourself, you're always at risk of them returning. Additionally, if you've had intestinal trouble in the past, like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, be on high alert for colorectal cancer
9, Is It in the Genes
Colorectal cancer isn't necessarily passed down from parents to children, but some genetic markers can indicate risk and let you know that you need to be more vigilant. Genetic predisposition only shows up in a small percentage of colorectal cancer cases and does not guarantee that you'll develop the disease. If risk runs in your family, you'll need earlier and more frequent screenings; talk to your doctor about when to start.
10, Polyp Probability
Gardner's Syndrome or familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), is a rare diagnosis that means you're genetically inclined to develop polyps. FAP boosts your risk of developing colon cancer before you're 40 years old, so your doctor will start examining for polyps early - and regularly.
|Re: Facts About Colorectal Cancer by Jarus(m): 1:20pm On Mar 13|
11, Rare, But Challenging
Lynch Syndrome, or hereditary nonpolypous colorectal cancer (HNPCC), another rare genetic disorder, causes potentially malignant lesions that are hard to find, putting you at risk of colon cancer before age 50. A genetic test can alert you and your doctor so you can start testing early.
12, Does Diet Make a Difference?
The final verdict isn't in yet, but studies indicate that diet and exercise can influence colorectal cancer risk. If you maintain a high-fat, low-fiber diet, your digestive system has to deal with carcinogens and other potential poisons. If you're smoking and abusing alcohol, all while avoiding exercise, then your weakened body makes a better host for cancer cells. A lifetime of burgers and beers may not cause colorectal cancer, but bad habits will exploit your other risk factors.
13, Deal with the Tests
Don't ignore the public service announcements and celebrity awareness campaigns: You need regular screening starting at age 50 (earlier with a family history and other risk factors). Testing isn't a pretty topic, but the technology is improving, and getting past the queasiness can, quite simply, save your life.
14, Simplest Surgeries
Surgery is usually the safest and most effective way to treat colon cancer. That's why early detection is so important - surgery is far safer and more effective in the early stages of cancer. If the polyps are small and haven't spread or embedded themselves in the wall of the colon, then a surgeon can usually remove them completely. You'll have to keep a more watchful eye for the rest of your life, but your immediate treatment can be that simple. Surgeons can even remove larger polyps - caught early - through less
15, Tougher Treatments
If malignant cells have grown into the colon wall, then you may need a partial colectomy, in which a surgeon will remove the cancerous portion and reconnect the healthy colon. But this is also where rectal cancer becomes a different problem. If the cancerous cells are too close to the rectum or end of your colon, you may need a colostomy. Often, surgeons can perform a temporary colostomy, but in some advanced cases, you'll need an external colostomy bag for collecting body waste outside the
|Re: Facts About Colorectal Cancer by Jarus(m): 1:22pm On Mar 13|
16, When It's Incurable
Since many people with colorectal cancer are also in bad physical health, sometimes surgeons aren't able to remove enough of the colon to get rid of all of the cancer cells. In these cases, they'll operate to remove any blockages in the intestines, which will relieve symptoms like bleeding and pain. But this palliative surgery won't cure the cancer.
17, Chemotherapy and Radiation
If, after surgery, some cancer cells remain, you may need chemotherapy to destroy these cells. And if the cancer has spread from your colon to nearby organs like the liver, chemotherapy may be able to kill these cells before they cause complications. With rectal cancer, you'll likely need radiation therapy to eliminate any remaining cells and shrink any tumors.
Recent studies have shown that radiation prior to surgery helps shrink the tumor and
18, Do Drugs Help?
Targeted drug therapy, including chemotherapy drugs like bevacizumab (Avastin), cetuximab (Erbitux) and panitumumab (Vectibix) can help if surgery isn't an option. These drugs have varied success, and come with the typical side effects of cancer drugs, from nausea, diarrhea and abdominal pain to stroke or heart attack symptoms. You and your doctor will carefully weigh the risks and potential benefits before starting a drug regimen
19, Help from Healthy Habits
You can prevent colon cancer by catching polyps early, but can you prevent polyps? It might be impossible, but some healthy habits can help:
•Diet: A colorectal cancer-fighting diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains will supply your body with the fiber and antioxidants you need to keep your digestive system clean.
•Exercise: Exercising and maintaining a healthy BMI not only keep your system
Related Nairaland thread: http://www.nairaland.com/999898/15-early-signs-cancer#11563082
|Re: Facts About Colorectal Cancer by biolabee(m): 1:48pm On Mar 13|
Excellent post, may God help us
Cancer is deadly and is becoming more common place
|Re: Facts About Colorectal Cancer by Akin-David: 5:32pm On Mar 13|
Thanks for the Enlightenment.
|This post has been hidden|
|Re: Facts About Colorectal Cancer by pappilo(m): 5:49pm On Mar 13|
Thanks for this but unfortunately many wont read it and those who do will just glance through. A year ago I would have just glanced at this article and moved on but when these things hit close to home there is the natural tendency to develop an interest but unfortunately the knowledge gained from that interest is usually of no important use as the close relative or yourself is past the curative stage.
The ultimate killer in Colorectal cancer is Liver Metastasis i.e when the cancer cells have travelled from the colon to the liver. At this stage, there is no chance of a cure and only palliative treatment can be given to help prolong life often with a deteriorating quality of life.
Like the article you posted above alludes to, colorectal cancer presents no obvious symptoms and by the time it does e.g rapid unexplained weight loss, the cancer has advanced to stage IV which is incurable.
If I knew what I know now 10 years ago, I would have done things differently.
I love you dad.
|This post has been hidden|
|Re: Facts About Colorectal Cancer by Temismith(f): 9:55pm On Mar 13|
Hmmmm! #signs#. God help us. Tanx @ op.
|Re: Facts About Colorectal Cancer by adaptor4all: 11:25pm On Mar 13|
Great post really..I only wanna reiterate on d most important words,'Early detection'.Sincerely,early detection is what differentiates Western approach 2 cancer frm dt f Africa cos most Africans won't show up in d hospitals till d disease has eaten really deep.Pitifully,this is largely as a result of lack of routine check-ups in Africa However,those who do show up early,mostly do so either in herbal homes or in not-well-exposed hospitals,where they r only given antibiotics 4 trx.There4,1 can't seperate cancer prevailence from ignorance.What a pity!
Pls,never take ur health issue lightly.Any misnormal in ur system shd be reported immediately.Remember,Early detection remains d best cure 2 cancer.God help us all..Amen
|Re: Facts About Colorectal Cancer by dBard: 5:40am On Mar 14|
Great post @OP.
Colo Rectal CA is being seen more n more these days than before,probably cos of improved diagnosis etc.
management protocol are improving in tackling it but early detection still remains d key.
Once a year check up wit Scans, Barium enemas n colonoscopy (if available ) is recommended after the age of 50.
A healthy lifestyle is very important, with Gods Grace..
|Re: Facts About Colorectal Cancer by Lady Winona: 6:46am On Mar 14|
Hmmm, during my elective posting in USA, most of my adult patients had colorectal cancer. As a newbie, my job was to perform a guaiac test on their stools which essentially means checking for blood in stool as one of the diagnostic tools. It was rather fun. Again, one of the lines of management was that these patients were adviced to maintain a diet high in fiber. The consultant had gone on to explain that why the disease is rare in Africans is because of the high fiber content in our foods eg garri etc as compared to their diet that is largely made up of refined food products low in fiber aka junk food etc. The food companies in response are now increasing as well as adding fiber content in their biscuits, and other food products to keep up d health trend . Can it be d same as our natural food? I really doubt it.
Needless to say, I took home something that day which is to eat as much garri as I can even though I can barely stand the meal, since after all it's my prophylaxis against this dreadful disease.
|Re: Facts About Colorectal Cancer by ikkkkk: 9:43am On Mar 14|
Thanks for sharing this valuable information.
|Re: Facts About Colorectal Cancer by viperman: 8:20pm On Mar 14|
Awesomeness = Jarus
Sections: politics (1) business autos (1) jobs (1) career education (1) romance computers phones travel sports fashion health