Colorectal Cancer Related Information

Colorectal cancer is type of cancer that develops in the colon (or large intestine) or rectum. Mostly beginning as a small clump of cells known as polyp, which become cancerous and attack and infect the wall of the intestine.

There are certain types of polyps. Important ones are Adenomatous polyps or Adenomas, which have the potential to become cancerous. Adenocarcinomas are cancers of the glandular cells which line or affect the inside layer of the wall of the colon and rectum. These cancer cells may also spread into other parts of the body, and new tumors can thus be formed. This process is called metastasis.

Risk factors for colorectal cancer includes age, family history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer, history of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC) is also a clearly defined genetic syndrome.

Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, FAP as its commonly known occurs between the ages of 5 and 40 where a patient typically develops hundreds of polyps in their colon and rectum. People with this problem should get it addressed by way of surgery or else the chances of developing it into cancer increase significantly.

Tests to diagnose colorectal cancer are listed as under:

The Digital Rectal Examination or DRE is a common physical examination done as a routine and may be the first step in diagnosing colorectal cancer. The doctorperforms this examination by physically inserting a gloved finger into the rectum to check for abnormal growths and then may test your stool for blood to confirm it.

Fecal Occult Blood test: In this simple, initial screening test for colorectal cancer, a stool sample is applied to a special card that changes color if any blood is detected.

Barium Enema: A special X-ray is taken after inserting a narrow tube into the rectum to allow a white, chalky liquid called “liquid barium” into the colon where tumors or masses appear as dark shadows.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy: Here, a thin tube is inserted into the rectum which helps the doctor to look into the rectum which gives them an idea about the developing clumps.

Colonoscopy: This by far is considered the most accurate and thorough test which confirms or diagnoses colorectal cancer.

A thin, lighted tube is inserted into the rectum to examine and remove polyps. These tissues may be then taken for biopsy. This removal of polyp helps prevent cancer from developing further. While this test is performed a mild sedative may be given to the patient.

Ultrasound: This test is performed to find cancer that has already spread to other organs.

Likewise Virtual Colonoscopy is a type of test which creates a 3-dimensional images of the affected parts to reveal any abnormal masses. The colon is inflated with carbon dioxide and then images are taken through a small rectal tube. Virtual colonoscopy is a fairly new technology, and it is still under observation and study.

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.