Definition and causes
Cancer of the colon and cancer of the end intestine often counted as the same disease. It occurs after changes in the mucous membranes. Overall, it is the second most common form of cancer in both men and women in Denmark with approx. 3,500 new cases per year. More than half of those who get diagnosed with colorectal, is more than 60 years, and nearly all are over 40 years.
The exact cause of the disease is unknown, but probably it is a combination of genetic factors and environmental factors. Also seen an increased incidence of colon cancer among people with numerous polyps in thick and Rectum, and among people with bleeding twitch and Crohn's disease.
Almost ¾-parts of all the tumors (cancer s) sits in the bottom half of the colon and bottom (including using the intestine), and a quarter of the tumors are localized to the end of the intestine.
Symptoms of cancer of the colon
The symptoms depend on where the tumor is located. Often the symptoms start slowly and insidiously. The most common symptoms are:
- Amended stool pattern. In some diarrhea, constipation among others, and some seen alternating periods of diarrhea and constipation.
- Weight loss.
- Anemia (anemia).
- Pain in the abdomen.
- Blood and mucus in the stools.
- Fresh blood in the stools and painful bowel movements seen frequently associated with cancers of the end of the intestine.
The higher up in the intestine cancer is localized, the more uncharacteristically symptoms are typical, and more general symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, fever and anemia seen earlier at the high-seated tumors.
Cancer below in the intestine typically appears in stool pattern changed. These tumors may also cause symptoms of narrowing and subsequent prevention of the intestine above. This may prove as nausea and vomiting and discomfort and pain from the udspilede gut sections. In the worst cases this may lead tarmslyng.
Precautions and diagnosis
By blood and mucus in the stools over time should consult a doctor. This is particularly true if you are over 40-50 years, where this may be due to cancer of the colon. In most cases, however, there will be talk about hemorrhoids, infection with bacteria or parasites or other less serious conditions.
It is believed that cancer of the colon is associated with the time food has to pass through the intestine. The longer it takes, the longer it will have potentially toxic or carcinogenic (cancer) drugs to work. Therefore, it is felt that the disease is associated with a diet low in fiber (which reduces the crossing time). It is therefore recommended for everyone to eat a diet that is rich in fiber (many vegetables and cereals).
When the diagnosis must be made, starting with the physician to perform a rektaleksploration (sticking a finger up in the end the intestine). With this study may 2/3-dele of all tumors in the end the intestine was discovered. In addition, performing a kikkertundersøgelse (colonoscopy) with simultaneous removal of tissue (biopsy). For acute symptoms of narrowing and obstruction made an X-ray with contrast.
Treatment of cancer of the colon
Untreated, the disease is deadly cycle end shortly, and the only way to cure is surgery, which removes the affected piece of intestine. However, it is only possible to operate around ¾-parts with a view to healing, since the remaining tumor has spread at the time of diagnosis. In some cases you can remove the affected piece of intestine, and then sew the two ends together gut. In others, it is necessary to bring a colostomy.
If the cancer is located near the anus, it can often help with radiation before the operation, and at the higher stages have shown good efficacy of concurrent chemotherapy (see Diagnostcering and treatment of cancer). In cases where the cancer has spread, and surgery is not possible, give more often palliative radiotherapy and / or chemotherapy. This may in some give a marked improvement in the quality of life the last period of life, and in part also extend this period.
Select and complications
As mentioned require cancer of the colon operation. Fortunately, many come to the doctor in time, and it is possible to view. healing. It looks worse if the disease is detected late stage possibly. with spread to other organs. Colorectal spreads most commonly to the liver and then to the lungs. High Seated (right sided) tumors usually discovered later in the cycle than the left due to the more uncharacteristically symptoms.
Sometimes the disease shows itself only at tarmslyng or perforation of the intestine (which is hollow on the intestine) with bacteria in the abdominal cavity and peritonitis as a result. These modes can also be seen as complications later in the process.
The disease has a good prognosis if detected early stage, and in these cases, most curable. Therefore, it is important to be aware of symptoms such as bleeding and weight loss, particularly if you are over 40-50 years.