A disease in which malignant cells form in the tissues, colon cancer is known to be the most common of its type in both men and women in the United States.
Part of the body’s digestive system where it removes and processes nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins and water from the food. It also assists in passing out waste material out of the system. The first six feet of the large intestine is called the large bowel while the last six inches is called the anal canal.
The risk factors of colon cancer include reaching the fifth decade of existence, family history, bearing polyps, background of ulcerative colitis and hereditary conditions.
When after going to the physician and putting that the prognosis is colon cancer, it does not mean that it is already the end of your life. Several tests will be done to find out if it has spread to the other parts of the body and with that, the particular stage will be determined because there also lies what should be the appropriate treatment.
There are five stages of colon cancer (0-4) that are also referred to as Duke’s A, Duke’s B, Duke’s C and Duke’s D. They are individually discussed below:
- Stage 0 refers to the earliest stage possible which is called as carcinoma in situ.
- Stage 1 means that it has extended beyond the innermost layers.
- Stage 2 is where the it has now moved to the middle layers of the colon.
- Stage 3 is when it has been found in at least three lymph nodes.
- Stage 4 is the most advanced where it has already spread to other parts of the body.
In the advancement of technology, many tools have been created to fight colon cancer. Here are some of those:
- CT scan is a special type of X- ray that allows the doctor to view what slice of you appears like. It is possible since the machine revolves around your entire body. CT scans are very beneficial in providing detailed bone pictures.
- MRI is an acronym for magnetic resonance imaging. It makes use of radio waves and magnets to do it. MRI is very helpful in taking photos of the soft tissues like the colon for example.
- Lymph node biopsy is the one that will volunteer to stay 24 hours a day when you have an injection. When checking the lymph nodes for cancer cells, it permits the doctor a clear vista of how successful it has been forcibly entering the colon while also journeying to the other sections.
- CEA assay is a kind of test that is useful for particular levels of carcinoembryonic antigen present in the blood that serve as a sign in detecting what kind of sickness. CEA assay, by the way, is just a fancy term for cancer analysis.