What is colon cancer?
Colon cancer is cancer that originates from the inner lining of the large intestine (colon) colon cancer is often accompanied by rectal cancer and this condition is known as colorectal cancer (English: Colorectal Cancer) and occurs as a result of the transformation of colon cells into cancer cells that grow rapidly and divide and do not die, causing the accumulation of these cells to form a tumor.
Colon cancer is divided into several types according to the cells from which it originates, and is also divided into stages according to the extent and progression of colon cancer. Colorectal cancer often does not cause symptoms until an advanced stage of the disease, which delays the diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer, it is important to have periodic examinations to detect it, especially in people who have factors that increase their risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Causes of colon cancer
The main cause of colorectal cancer is still unknown. colon cancer usually starts from one of the types of polyps in the colon, which are fleshy growths or benign tumors that turn into cancerous tumors after being exposed to a series of mutations in DNA.adenomatous polyps are the most susceptible types of polyps to transformation into colon cancer.
Types of colon cancer are divided into two main types, namely:
Primary colon cancer: it is cancer that begins in one of the types of cells that make up the various tissues of the colon, and is called cancer, in this case, depending on the type of cells from which it originated. adenocarcinoma (in English: Adenocarcinoma), which originates from the mucous membrane lining the colon, is the most common type of primary colon cancer, and various colon cancers can spread to other organs of the body.
Secondary colon cancer: secondary colon cancer is known as metastatic or metastatic cancer, which are cancers that spread to the colon from other organs, and cancer, in this case, is called according to the organ from which it spread to the colon, for example, metastatic liver cancer to the colon, and cancer cells reach the colon either through the lymphatic system or directly through the blood.
Factors that increase the risk of colorectal cancer
Factors that increase the risk of colorectal cancer include:
Aging: 90% of colorectal cancer cases are diagnosed after the age of fifty.
Race: Africans are more likely to develop colorectal cancer than other races.
Diet: a high-fat diet increases the risk of colorectal cancer.
Colon polyps: benign colon polyps develop as a result of damage to the chromosomes of the cells of the inner lining of the colon, and may turn into cancer in some cases.
Ulcerative colitis: chronic ulcerative colitis causes inflammation and damage to the inner lining of the colon, and may lead to colorectal cancer.
Family history: people who have a family history of colorectal cancer, especially when first-degree relatives such as a father or brother are affected, are twice as likely to develop colorectal cancer.
Having some diseases: liver diseases associated with ulcerative colitis, and sclerosing cholangitis increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Symptoms of colon cancer
There are many common general symptoms that can indicate colon cancer in its early stages, and these symptoms also mimic the symptoms of other conditions such as colonic diverticulitis, including:
Constipation or diarrhea.
The stool color has changed.
Change in stool thickness.
The presence of light or dark blood in the stool.
Bleeding from the rectum.
Gases in the abdomen.
Symptoms in the advanced stages of colorectal cancer become more pronounced and strongly indicate infection, and these symptoms, in addition to the previously mentioned symptoms, may include the following:
Frequent feeling of fatigue.
Unexplained weight loss.
Changes in stool that last more than a month.
The feeling of not completely emptying the intestines even after going to the toilet.
Increased symptoms of anemia as a result of prolonged slow bleeding, including dizziness, shortness of breath, and pale skin.
Symptoms of partial or total intestinal obstruction increase as a result of an increase in the size of the tumor, including abdominal pain, excessive abdominal gas, constipation, and a change in The Shape of feces.
How is colon cancer diagnosed?
Colorectal cancer can be diagnosed by performing several tests, including:
Analysis of a comprehensive blood count, examination of tumor markers (in English: Tumor Markers), and examination of liver function.
Imaging tests such as X-ray, positron emission tomography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging.
A biopsy of the tumor inside the colon is taken for examination.
Conducting a diagnostic colonoscopy.
colon cancer treatment
Treatment of colorectal cancer depends on many factors, including the degree of cancer, and the patient’s general health. Colorectal cancer is treated in more than one way, and the patient may need treatment in more than one treatment method together, and the methods of treating colorectal cancer include the following:
Surgery: surgery is performed to remove cancerous polyps if cancer has not spread to the colon wall, but when cancer has spread, the surgeon may resort to resection of part of the colon or rectum and adjacent lymph nodes, and in some advanced cases the patient may need to perform a temporary or permanent colostomy, which means making an opening in the abdominal wall to empty the contents of the colon of waste.
Radiation therapy: radiation therapy involves the use of high-energy rays such as gamma rays or X-rays to kill cancer cells before and after surgery, radiation therapy is usually accompanied by chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy: chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells and control their growth, and doctors usually resort to chemotherapy after surgery, and chemotherapy drugs used in the treatment of colorectal cancer include cetuximab, and regorafenib.
Other treatment methods: targeted therapy and immunotherapy can be used in the treatment of colorectal cancer, targeted therapy and immunotherapy drugs are used in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer, and in the late stages that do not respond to treatment with late treatment methods, and immunotherapy and targeted therapy drugs used in the treatment of colorectal cancer nivolumab