Recurrent Breast Cancer

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Picture of Colon Cancer

Have you had a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer? 
Screening should begin at age fifty. African and American Indians may consider testing at age forty-five. 
The procedure involves a video camera to collect and a biopsy tissue biopsy a biopsy for analysis and to remove polyps. 

 Diagnosing colon cancer is performed by colonoscopy to examine the inside of the colon. A scope is used to examine the inside of the colon through the rectum. 

A colonoscopy with a video camera is used to take a biopsy for analysis to remove polyps and screen for cancer. 
Staging is used to monitor the severity of cancer.  Here are the staging criteria.

Stage 1: cancer has grown through the mucosa (colon wall)  or rectum but has not spread through the mucosa or rectum.  

Stage 2 Cancer has grown into the rectum but has not spread to the lymph nodes. 

Stage 3:    Cancer has invaded nearby lymph nodes but has not affected other body parts.  

Stage 4: Cancer has spread to other organs, to include the liver or the lung. 

Treatment for colon cancer involves removing the tumor by colonoscopy under anesthesia.  There are several surgical techniques.   

1.  Endoscopic mucosal resection. This involves removing polyps by colonoscopy if the cancer is localized and completely contained with polyps in an early state. The polyps are removed during the colonoscopy.

2.  Minimally invasive surgery. Polyps that can't be removed endoscopic resection.

3.  Invasive surgery. Polyps that can't be removed during a colonoscopy. In that instance, a small incision through abdominal wall inserting several small incisions through the abdominal wall in order to insert instruments attached through cameras on video. This technique involves taking samples from lymph nodes in the area where the cancer is located. If the cancer is invasive, surgery is recommended. 

4. If cancer has grown through the colon, this may require a partial colectomy. this procedure surgeon removes part of the colon that contains cancer, along with margin normal mass of tissue on either side of cancer. The surgeon may reconnect healthy portions of the colon. When it is not possible to reconnect the colon, an ostomy is recommended. 

Another option is to surgically open the abdomen and construct an ostomy bag that is worn on the patient's lower abdomen. 
In some cases, the colostomy bag may be permanent. 

Lymph node removal is done to remove the nodes to test for cancer. In some instances, chemotherapy is recommended to destroy cancer cells.  

After surgery, if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, then chemotherapy is administered to relieve symptoms 

Radiation therapy may be recommended to eradicate cancer cells. This is to shrink tumor cells by radiation and to cancer cells. 

Drug therapy may be included. These include Evacizumab,  (Avastin ), Cetuximab, (Erbux), and Panitumumab).  

Targeted drugs given with chemotherapy may cause side effects.
Immunotherapy may be included in the treatment plan.

Consider  Palliative care to improve quality of life  improve the quality of life may feel better and live longer. Find a support group for coping and support. Check for further information on this topic. 

Source: Mayo Clinic; Diagnosis and Screening for Colon Cancer.