Bowel cancer is a serious disease which is also
known as rectal, colon rectal, or colon cancer. It affects the lower part of
the digestive system - the large bowel and the rectum. Although it is unclear what a cause of this
serious disease is, there are certain factors which are often associated with
it and some of them are family history of colon cancer, existing of colon
polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, and age over 60. Nutrition is also an important factor recognized
by scientists, and low fiber and high fat food are believed to have raised the
rates of bowel cancer. Particular genetic syndromes also intensify the
risk of developing colon cancer. Other risk factors are consumption of alcohol and
caffeine, and smoking.
The chief indicators of bowel cancer are diarrhea, constipation, or other alteration in bowel habits, anemia and unexplained weight loss, stool disorder for more than several weeks, abdominal pain, blood flecks in a person’s stool, especially if the blood is dark. These are the sign that are usually noted and thus should never be ignored. To make a diagnosis, a GP may do a rectal examination to check for any abnormal changes. Blood tests that may be required include liver function tests and complete blood count to check for anemia. Doctor also may order colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy. If the cancer is detected, more tests have to be done to see if the cancer has developed, and this is called staging. To determine the extent or progression of cancer, a patient has to do CT and MRI scans. Treatment will be determined according to the stage of the cancer. It may include chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. The most common bowel cancer treatment is surgery. In the time of surgical procedure, the surgeon removes the tumor and the surrounding lymph nodes, which prevents the growth of tumors. As is usual, the surgeon separates the part of colon and links formed ends with each other. This procedure is named as bowel ‘resection’ by doctors. When the two parts cannot be fastened back together, often because the tumor is too low, the bowel can be exposed through the abdominal wall.
In some cases, after the procedure, either radiation or chemotherapy is appointed to extinguish the cancer cells that have left. Therapy achievement depends mostly on the characteristics of an organism, bowel cancer signs, and the timing of diagnosis of cancer. After the surgery, the patient will be supported to start moving as soon as possible. This is a significant part of recovery and, even though the patient has to stay in bed, it is important to do leg motions and deep-breathing exercises every day. If the colon cancer does not return within 5 years, it is healed.