Adenocarcinoma of Colon
Colorectal carcinoma have different forms among which adenocarcinoma is the most common one. Colon cancer of the adenocarcinoma type is the third most common cancer in North America and Western Europe which are the areas with high fat and low fiber consumption. Colon cancer is the most common gastrointestinal cancer but it rarely occurs in young adults and the risk increases with age.
Colon adenocarcinoma represents malignant growth of the cells in the large intestine (colon), rectum and appendix. In some cases, colon adenocarcinoma develops over time in benign cell growths known as adenomateus polyps. These polyps can be completely removed during colonoscopy to prevent development of cancer.
Symptoms of Colon Cancer
In the initial stage of the colon adenocarcinoma symptoms may present no symptoms. But the following early symptoms may indicate colon cancer: blood in the stool, diarrhea, constipation or other changes in bowel habit, unexplained weight loss, pain in lower abdomen, and anemia.
Causes of Colon Cancer
Colon cancer usually doesn’t occur because of the single cause. Frequently non cancerous polyps slowly develop into colon cancer. The risk factors for colon cancer include: age above 60, smoking, diet high in red or processed meat, low fiber diet, inflammatory bowel disease and family history of colon cancer. Obese people are also at increased risk of developing colon cancer.
Colon cancer can be diagnosed with the help of imaging tests such as colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy. Additionally, blood tests may be done including liver function test and complete blood count. To determine the stage of colon cancer CT or MRI scans are required.
Treatment for Colon Adenocarcinoma
Treatment for colon cancer includes surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy depending on the stage of the cancer. Early colon cancer is treated only with surgery to remove cancer cells while colon cancer that started to spread must be additionally treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Early colon cancer is in 90% of cases curable and the survival rate is about 5 times higher than in late stage cancers.
Colon cancer surgery is the primary treatment and involves the removal of segment of colon where the tumor is located. This surgery is called colectomy. If cancer starts to develop in adenomateus polyps they can be removed during colonoscopy. Advanced stages of colon cancer require extensive surgery.
Chemotherapy is the treatment of colon cancer which aims to prevent spreading of the cancer, improve the symptoms and prolong survival. Chemotherapy may follow the surgery (adjuvant chemotherapy) or may be applied prior to surgery (neo-adjuvant chemotherapy).
Radiation therapy is occasionally used for treatment of colon cancer. It is usually used in combination with chemotherapy to destroy cancerous tissue and to relieve the pain.