Colorectal cancer: Symptoms, causes and treatment


LAST UPDATED: Jan. 28, 2021, 1:50 p.m.

NEW DELHI (DIVYA SAINI): Colorectal cancer is a cancer in colon, large intestine or rectum which are present in the lower portion of your digestive system, whereas rectum is at the end of the colon. There are various ways to diagnose it but doctors diagnose it using a staging as a guideline to figure out how far has the cancer reached. After diagnosis only, the doctor will come up with the best treatment.

Symptoms of colorectal cancer:

1 Constipation

2 Diarrhea

3 Changes in stool color

4 Changes in stool shape, such as narrowed stool

5 Blood in the stool

6 Bleeding from the rectum

7 Excessive gas

8 Abdominal cramps

9 Abdominal pain

Causes of colorectal cancer

There can be many causes but major causes are genetic mutations, it doesn’t mean you will 100% get it but it may increase your chances of having it. Some mutations may cause abnormal cells to accumulate in the lining of the colon, forming polyps. These are the small, benign growths. These can be cured only when they are removed through surgery at early as possible or the untreated polyps can become cancerous.

Treatment of colorectal cancer

1 Surgery: Doctors remove the cancerous polyps through surgery. But if your cancer has spread into your bowel walls, the doctor may need to remove a portion of the colon or rectum along with any neighboring lymph nodes.

2 Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a treatment where drugs are used to kill cancer cells.

3 Radiation: In radiation therapy a powerful beam of energy is used to target and destroy cancerous cells before and after surgery. Radiation therapy commonly occurs along with the chemotherapy.

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4 Targeted therapies and immunotherapies: There are certain drugs that can treat colorectal cancer includes evacizumab (Avastin), ramucirumab (Cyramza), cetuximab (Erbitux) etc. These are great drugs to treat late-stage, colorectal cancer that doesn’t respond to other types of treatment and has spread at the last stage in the body.

Image credits: Google

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