Colon Cancer begins when healthy cells in the lining of the colon or rectum change and grow out of control, forming a mass called a tumour. However, this cancer forms when the DNA in cells in the colon or rectum develops mutations that may make them unable to control growth and division. In many cases, these mutated cells die or are attacked by the immune system. But some mutated cells may escape the immune system and grow out of control, forming a tumour in the colon or rectum.
The exact cause of colon cancer is never known, but certain risk factors are strongly linked to the disease, including diet, tobacco smoking and heavy alcohol use. Importantly, people with certain hereditary cancer syndromes or a family history of colorectal cancer have a high risk of developing the disease.
Causes of Colon Cancer:
Colorectal cancer forms when the DNA in cells in the colon or rectum develop mutations that may make them unable to control growth and division. In many cases, these mutated cells die or are attacked by the immune system. But some mutated cells may escape the immune system and grow out of control, forming a tumor in the colon or rectum.
The exact cause of colorectal cancer is not known, but certain risk factors are strongly linked to the disease, including diet, tobacco smoking and heavy alcohol use. Also, people with certain hereditary cancer syndromes or a family history of colorectal cancer have a high risk of developing the disease.
Risk Factors- Known risk factors for colon cancer include:
- Family history: Although the reasons are not clear in all cases, inherited genes, shared environmental factors or a combination of these influences may increase your colorectal cancer risks.
- Inherited syndromes: The two most common inherited syndromes linked with colorectal cancers are familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC).
- Diet: Diets that are high in red and processed meats (e.g., beef, lamb, hot dogs) may increase your colorectal cancer risks. Frying, grilling, broiling or other methods of cooking meats at very high temperatures create chemicals that may also contribute to an increased risk.
- Inactive lifestyle: Individuals who live a sedentary lifestyle have an increased chance of developing colorectal cancer.
- Smoking: Some of the cancer-causing substances associated with smoking may be swallowed, potentially increasing the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
- Alcohol use: Heavy alcohol use may lead to an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
- Age: Although colorectal cancer may occur at any age, the chances of developing the disease may dramatically increase after the age of 45.
- Obesity: Being overweight may increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer.
- Type II diabetes: This condition is associated with a higher risk of rectal cancer. It may also affect your prognosis.
Stages of Colon Cancer:
The colon cancer can be staged as follows.
- Stage I: When cancer is started but confined to the inner lining of wall of the colon.
- Stage II: Here the cancer has spread to the organs adjacent to the colon or rectum but has not invaded the lymph nodes.
- Stage III: In this stage the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes but has not spread to distant organs of the body
- Stage IV: This is the last cancer stage, where it has spread to lymph nodes and is carried to the distant organs through the lymphatic system.
Colorectal cancer symptoms may be minor or non-existent during the early stages of the disease, although there may be some early warning signs. The symptoms of colorectal cancer may not develop until the disease has progressed into stage II or beyond. Consequently, in most cancers in the colon or rectum develop from polyps, so screening to find and remove them when they first form helps prevent them from growing into cancers.
- Rectal bleeding, either bright or dark red in colour
- Narrow stools
- Tenesmus, which is the feeling that you have to empty your bowel but nothing passes
- Anaemia caused by iron deficiency
- Persistent abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Alternating diarrhoea and constipation, or other changes in bowel habits
- Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
- Abdominal bloating, cramps or discomfort
- Unexplained loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
Treatment Options: We offer colorectal cancer program that gives surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and a number of other treatment options. Which would be appropriate for you depends on several factors, including the stage and extent of your disease. Your multidisciplinary team of colorectal cancer experts will answer your questions and recommend treatment options based on your unique diagnosis and needs.
Surgery is the most common colorectal cancer treatment. Surgery for colorectal cancer may involve removing tumors, removing the affected section of the colon, reattaching healthy ends of the intestines and removing nearby lymph nodes. In rare cases, the entire colon may need to be removed. Patients may receive chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy before and/or after surgery for colorectal cancer.
Drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors may be used to treat advanced colorectal cancer that have specific genomic features. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved certain checkpoint inhibitors to treat patients with inoperable metastatic tumors with microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficiency (dMMR) genetic features, regardless of where the tumor is located. MSI-H is often found in colorectal tumors, especially in patients with Lynch syndrome, a genetic condition that elevates the risk of colorectal cancer.
Chemotherapy drugs are designed to destroy cancer cells or impede their ability to grow and reproduce. Chemotherapy may not be necessary for patients with stage I or stage II colorectal cancer, but it is a common treatment option for patients with stage III or stage IV disease. Chemotherapy for colorectal cancer may be given intravenously or in pill form.
Radiation therapy may be an option for colorectal cancer treatment for a number of reasons, including:
Radiation therapy delivered before surgery may help shrink tumors so they are easier to remove.
Radiation therapy given after surgery may help kill cancer cells that have been left behind.
The treatment may be an option for patients who are unable to undergo surgery.
Radiation therapy may be used as a palliative treatment, to help shrink tumors that may be causing a blockage in the colon or intestines.
Radiation therapy may be given in conjunction with chemotherapy.
Monoclonal antibody therapy is a type of targeted therapy used to treat colorectal cancer. Monoclonal antibodies are bio-engineered proteins that may help leverage the body’s natural immune response to recognize attack and destroy colorectal cancer cells.
Cost for Colon Cancer Treatment in India:
Cost effectiveness is the main concern of all the medical tourists that are flying abroad for medical treatment. We at Manaaki, keep the process transparent and authentic. No adulteration in costs, treatment, commission. India is well known for it’s international standards, no language barrier, personalized attention, safe surgery and seamless travel opportunities. The approximate cost of Cancer Treatment would range between USD 3000 to USD 10000 per cycle depending on current condition of the patient.
Recovery after Colon Cancer:
Traditional surgery results in an average hospital stay of a week or more and usually 6 weeks of recovery.