Bowel cancer is a malignant tumor of the intestinal mucosa. Cancer can develop in any part of the bowel, disease occurs most commonly in the colon. Bowel cancer is very common and its incidence continues to increase, and in economically developed countries incidence is highest. Currently, bowel cancer is the second leading cancer in frequency of occurrence among older people.
Most people exposed to the disease in the age group over 45, men and women alike, every 10 years, incidence increased by 10%. Bowel cancer varies by histological structure, in 96% of cases it develops from the glandular mucosa cells (adenocarcinoma).
Causes of bowel cancer
There are three basic signs of bowel cancer:
- Genetic predisposition. If in a family there are cases of bowel cancer, family members are at risk. And if someone has a family member diagnosed with intestinal polyposis, it also speaks of the genetic background of malignant colon cancer.
- Tumor and inflammatory bowel disease. Typically, bowel cancer is preceded by chronic illness, called precancerous. Such diseases include polyps, adenoma, chronic ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease. These diseases are not cancerous, but not being cured, create preconditions for the emergence of colon cancer.
- A diet poor dietary fibers, protein and rich fatty food. Such food contributes to the appearance of stagnation in the intestines, constipation and mechanical irritation of the walls of the colon thick compacted feces. Gastroenterologists say that this food was the main cause of the spread of colon cancer among people living in economically prosperous countries.
Symptoms of bowel cancer
The disease can be asymptomatic for a long time, often the first symptoms of colon cancer are taken as the phenomenon of colitis. The main symptom of bowel cancer at an early stage is blood in the stool, get to the site of tumor-bearing. Blood can be inconspicuous, so important to conduct preventive analysis of fecal occult blood to all people at risk.
Symptoms depend on the stage of the cancer from the bowel and its location. For tumors of the right department characterized by diarrhea, abdominal pain and blood in the stool, and later iron deficiency anemia as a result of the constant loss of blood to tumors left the department - constipation and bloating. The signs of colon cancer include persistent (lasting more than two weeks), diarrhea phenomenon: nausea, belching, feeling of heaviness in the abdomen, loss of appetite, irregular bowel.
One of the characteristic symptoms of bowel cancer - the emergence of an aversion to meat diet. As the disease progresses, the listed signs of bowel cancer are joining signs of poisoning the body decomposition products of tumors: overall decline in tone, fatigue, pallor, emaciation, excessive nervousness.
In the later stages of colon cancer metastases appear - child tumors arising from the spread of cancer cells through the lymphatic or blood vessels. Metastatic colon cancer by lymphatic transferred to regional lymph nodes, then to the pelvic lymph nodes and mesentery, hematogenous route - in the lungs and liver. The most frequently encountered metastasized colon cancer in the liver.
Diagnosis of colorectal cancer
Extremely important diagnosis of colon cancer in the early stages of the disease, because the disease is characterized by a slow current, and the time taken measures can eliminate intestinal cancer in the case if it is not going too far. Diagnosis is made after the following studies:
- Radiology bowel (barium enema). It is a X-ray examination of the intestinal wall after administration by enema radiopaque substance, which is used for the suspension of barium.
- Retromanoskopiya. The study area of the intestine from the anus to a depth of 30 cm, held a special device that allows the doctor to see the intestinal wall.
- Colonoscopy. Study area intestine from the anus to a depth of 100 cm.
- Laboratory examination of fecal occult blood.
- CT, MRI can determine the localization of the tumor and the presence or absence of metastases.
Treatment of Colon Cancer
Regardless of the stage of colon cancer, the basic method of treatment is surgical removal of the tumor. If the disease is diagnosed at an early stage, the treatment of colon cancer can be gentle, in this case, the tumor is removed endoscopically by retromanoskopa or colonoscope. In other cases, abdominal surgery with a cut in the abdominal wall. Land gut, struck by a tumor is excised, the edges of the intestine are sewn together. In some cases, surgery is performed in two stages: the first stage of a tumor is excised, and the intestine is displayed in an artificial opening on the side, colostomy. In the second stage colostomy is removed, portions of the intestine are sewn together, and restores the natural release of stool through the anus rectum.
For the treatment of colon cancer is used as chemotherapy and irradiation. In the early stages, these methods are used as an aid in basic surgical and prevention are metastases and recurrence of the disease. In the later, stages of inoperable, chemotherapy and radiation therapy to help relieve pain and improve the overall condition of the patient.
Prognosis depends on what stage of colon cancer treatment was initiated. If the disease was diagnosed at an early stage, when the tumor has not gone beyond the mucosa, five-year survival after tumor removal, and conducted adequate treatment of colon cancer is about 97%. If it affects the whole bowel wall without metastasis formation - about 60%, in the presence of metastasis prognosis worsens, and if there are distant metastases, the five-year survival rate is not more than 35%.
Preventing bowel cancer
For the prevention of colon cancer need regular medical check-ups, especially for people at risk for the disease. It is important a balanced diet with high content of coarse plant fiber and dairy products, and low in animal fats, as well as fried and smoked food. Care should be taken to regular bowel movement, and to take timely measures to eliminate constipation.