What Is A Colorectal Cancer?
One of the common cancers among every individual, all around the world is colorectal cancer. It is also known as colon cancer.
Every year around 4.1 to 4.4 per 100,000 individuals get affected by colorectal cancer. Colon cancer ranks 8th among men and among women every 3.9 per 100,000 gets affected.
Colon or colorectal cancer in biological terms is: it is cancer in the colon or the rectal region located at the lower end of the digestive tract. When abnormal or damaged cells start to divide uncontrollably they form a mass of cells called ‘tumor’. When a cancerous tumor grows in the colon or rectal tissues, it leads to the disease of ‘colorectal cancer’.
The surviving chances become low if detected in the later stages. So, if confronted with any signs of tumorous activity the individual or the family member should immediately take the initiative to get it diagnosed.
What Are The Causes And Symptoms
Some of the causes of colon cancer are:
- Age: colon cancer can be detected at any age but most of the cases are found in elderly people.
- A personal history of colorectal cancer or polyp: having a previous history of colon cancer or the presence of non-cancerous polyp can put the individual at greater risk.
- Inherited syndromes that increase the chances of colon cancer: some of the most common inherited syndromes that can increase the chances of getting colon cancer are familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), Lynch syndrome which is also known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC).
- Family history of colon cancer.
- Low-fiber and high-fat diet.
- Low physical activity and sedentary lifestyle.
- Heavy consumption of alcohol.
- Binge smoking.
- Obesity or uncontrolled weight.
- Radiation therapies.
Some of the most common and widely seen symptoms are:
- Persistent changes in bowel activities.
- Changes in stool consistency
- Blood in the stool
- Abdominal discomfort
- Pain in the abdomen and pain while passing off the stool.
- Narrow stools
- Passing of excessive amount of gas
- Feeling that the bowel is not empty
- Anaemia and fatigue
- Weight loss.
Diagnosis Of Colon Cancer
Some of the techniques for diagnosis are:
- Colonoscopy: a scope- a thin slender tube attached to a video camera is used to examine the inside of the colon on the monitor.
- Blood tests: the doctor often sees for chemicals that are released in case of colon cancer like carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA).
- If the person is tested positive for colon cancer then the doctor may suggest undergoing some imaging tests such as pelvic, abdominal and chest CT scans.
What Are The Treatment Options
- Polypectomy: If the cancer is in the early stage then it is likely that the cancer is small, localized and within a polyp. In that case, the polyp is removed.
- Endoscopic mucosal reaction: when a larger polyp a small amount of the inner lining of the colon is removed using a special tool then it is called the endoscopic mucosal reaction.
- Laparoscopic surgery: polyps that cannot be removed using colonoscopy are removed using laparoscopic surgery.
- Partial colectomy: the part of the colon that contains the cancer is removed along with some margins of tissue.
- Ostomy: surgery to create a new passage for the removal of wastes. A colostomy may be temporary in a few cases where the patient is given an opening for waste removal after the surgery. Colostomy can be permanent for a few patients.
- Lymph node removal: nearby lymph nodes present in the cancer area are also removed during the surgery.
- Chemotherapy: it uses drugs to remove the cancerous cells. A few sessions of chemotherapy treatment is required to destroy the cancerous cells.
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted drug therapy
- Supportive or palliative care: this is provided by a team of doctors or nurses. The patient sometimes undergoes rehabilitation after their surgery.
What To Do Before The Surgery?
Before deciding or undergoing the surgery the patient must do the following things:
- Knowing enough about their cancer so they can make a rightful decision regarding surgery or any treatment.
- Talking with family and friends.
- Be aware of any pre-surgery restrictions like diet or medicinal restrictions.
- The patient should have a clear idea of the symptoms they are facing.
- Writing down any personal information like stress levels that they want their surgeon or doctor to know.
- Getting all the medications.
- The patient should be accompanied by any family member or friend.
- Writing down any queries about the process and disease so that they can ask their doctor during the appointment.
What Can Be Done At Home: Precautions And Care
It is normal to feel uncomfortable and tired during the initial days. The swelling, bruising, redness and pain will go away after 6-8 weeks. After getting discharged from the hospital the patients should be taken care of at their homes. One can try the following home care to feel a little comfortable.
- The person can explore the sleeping positions and try placing a pillow under the back.
- Getting a colectomy pillow, usually the hospital provides it.
- Changing the bandages
- Keeping the wounded area clean.
- As the wound heals, massaging it gently with lotion, vitamin E or lanolin can provide comfort. (note: it is advisable to contact a doctor before trying out the medications)
- Avoiding the application of perfumed creams.
- Doing post-surgery exercises like arm lifts, leg raising, arm swings and standing wall climbing.
- Regular and timely intake of medications prescribed by the physician.
- Hiring a care nurse or specialist.
- Intaking proper nutrients can help in the recovery process.
- Taking warm baths: avoiding running water in the rectal area.
- Taking a bath with someone’s help.
- Wearing comfortable and loose clothes.
- Lifting heavy items should be avoided.
- Getting enough sleep and rest can help the patient to feel better.
- Mental health should be prioritized and one should keep themselves busy doing the things they like.
The above-mentioned remedies and medicines; are over the counter medicines and are effective in most cases. It is advisable to contact the doctor before taking any medications.The period of recovery varies from person to person and their lifestyle. The average time of recovery can range from 6-10 weeks. The recovery is both physically and mentally. For the patient to have a healthy mental state during the healing or recovery period, it is important for the family members and loved ones to show them their extra token of love and support.
Before anyone leaves the hospital, they will be provided with a set of tests and appointments that they need to attend. The patients must strictly do the told tests and attend the recommended appointments. During the healing phase, one should take utmost care of their dressing and draining procedures. Plenty of rest should be taken and indulging in heavy tasks should be avoided. The person can return to their daily activities once they gain the energy and feel like they are capable of doing it without causing any damage to their wound.
The above-mentioned remedies and medicines; are over the counter medicines (most of them) and are effective in most cases. It is advisable to contact the doctor before taking any medications.
Why Should Someone Choose Resolve360?
- Resolve360 is a promising online platform, where one can receive treatment at the comfort of their own home.
- We are available on both the google play store and the app store.
- There’s Tiana, our chat buddy to guide you 24/7 through all your doubts, progress and feedback.
- Our team specializes in providing the following services:
- Speech therapy
- Clinical psychological counselling
- Antenatal and postnatal care
- Pregnancy wellness
- Covid rehabilitation facilities
- The patients don’t need to worry about traveling long distances to receive their post-surgery treatment or rehab.
- The patients can save up the time and can utilize that time to take care of themselves.
- For a smooth, at-home experience the patients are offered the following facilities:
- Live sessions,
- video conferencing and
- video prescriptions
- Building trust is really important. So, we always try our best to provide the maximum support to the patients to make them feel comfortable.
- We always schedule the timings of the meetings based on the patient’s preference. Rescheduling can also be done if there are any problems.
- When a patient comes to our doctor it becomes the responsibility of our doctor to give them a healthy life.
- We guarantee that doctors will never leave their patients.
- The patients can openly talk about their problems and we assure that the information will be between the patients and the doctors only.
- Our doctors plan every step necessary for their patients, starting from planning out exercises to drafting their diet charts.
- The doctors on the platform are extremely reliable and are certified professionals with experience.
- It is a platform that provides solutions to every problem, starting with home remedies to prescribed medications.
- The patient’s trust is our confidence!