Facing Colon Cancer: Exploring Options and Finding Support
Colon cancer is one of the most common types of cancer that many patients come down with during their lifetime. It is a serious condition where cancer cell growth develops in the digestive system. Since this can be a very unpleasant condition to have, it is important to get help from compassionate and experienced physicians such as Dr. Alvaro Garcia and his clinic General Bariatric Surgery of South Florida. Colorectal cancer is the technical term for colon cancer. This is a condition in which a person develops cancer in the colon, rectum, and large intestine. Colon cancer is usually diagnosed among members of the elderly population. Those who develop colon cancer usually come down with this condition due to a number of lifestyle factors.
This condition is caused by a person’s diet, obesity, smoking, and lack of exercise. These are the main risk factors for those who suffer from this condition. Some other conditions that may lead to colon cancer include inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. Genetics also play a factor in getting this condition which includes adenomatous polyposis and hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer. Like all other types of cancer, colon cancer is the result of the growth of cells. Over time, the cells begin to grow within the large intestine inside the colon. While the condition affects elderly adults, it can begin to occur at any age. Since this condition can be quite serious, it is important to find the early warning signs so that you can eventually treat this condition as quickly as possible.
Anyone who suspects having colon cancer or developing the condition will want to look for a number of things on a daily basis. A person who might have colon cancer should see if they have any of the following symptoms:
One of the most common early warning signs is a change in bowel habits. If someone experiences constipation or has diarrhea on a regular basis, it is possible that they may have colon cancer and should consult with a physician immediately. Another warning sign of colon cancer is rectal bleeding or blood located on stools. Those who experience discomfort in the abdominal area such as pain and cramps may indicate that they might have colon cancer.
Some other symptoms and early warning signs that someone should look for in order to determine colon cancer include weakness, fatigue, and losing weight without attempting to do so. Those who experience a feeling that the bowel didn’t empty all the way is another possible warning sign of having colon cancer. As of today, there are many treatments that can cure colon cancer. Depending on the stage, the treatments can either eliminate the cancer or shrink it to the point where it can easily be removed. Each of these treatments can combat colon cancer effectively during any stage. Whether someone has colon cancer during the early stages or later, they have plenty of options to consider in order to restore their quality of life. Most of the treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
If someone has been diagnosed with colon cancer during the early stages, one of the treatments they can look into is undergoing a procedure where the polyps are removed during the colonoscopy. Removing the polyps during the procedure can enable someone to get rid of the condition and eliminate the cancer altogether. Another treatment option for colon cancer is an endoscopic mucosal resection which consists of removing larger polyps during the same colonoscopy procedure. With this procedure, the condition can be eliminated.
If a patient cannot have the polyps removed during a colonoscopy, they will need to get laparoscopic surgery which is a more invasive procedure. This procedure consists of several small incisions in the abdominal area to remove the polyps. At times some patients don’t get this condition detected until several months or even years after developing it. As a result, they will need to get the most advanced procedures available. These procedures include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy.
Chemotherapy is the most common type of treatment for all types of cancer including colon cancer. This type of treatment consists of using certain medications that attack and kill all of the cancer cells. Receiving chemotherapy is usually done shortly after a patient has surgery to remove large polyps and/or if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. Radiation therapy is another highly effective treatment option for those who suffer from colon cancer. This procedure is a method in which energy beams are used to kill off the cells that are causing the cancer in the first place. In most cases, the energy beams are emitted through x-rays or protons. With radiation therapy, a patient can shrink the polyps so that they are easier to remove with a more conventional surgical procedure.
When looking to get treatment for radiation therapy, targeted therapy is another option to consider. This treatment option includes the use of medicine to attack chemicals inside the cancer cells. With the blockage of these certain chemicals, the cancer can eventually be eliminated. If the colon cancer reaches an advanced stage then a patient will want to consider getting immunotherapy. This type of treatment focuses on using medicines to help the immune system kill off the cancer cells. Since the immune system fights diseases by attacking certain cells, immunotherapy enhances this process. With immunotherapy, a person’s immune system will be able to detect all of the hidden cancer cells and kill them immediately. This is one of the most highly effective treatments for colon cancer.
Having colon cancer can be a very challenging time for both the patient and their family and friends. While this is often a difficult time, there are plenty of ways to get support on a regular basis in order to cope with this condition more easily. One of the things that a person can do is tell their family and friends about the condition and request help if necessary. By asking for help with errands, and household tasks, and getting transportation to and from healthcare facilities, colon cancer patients can handle this situation with less difficulty. Another way in which a patient can better cope with colon cancer is to regularly seek advice and consultations with their physician and other healthcare professionals. Having regular interaction with physicians and healthcare professionals will enable patients to get more consistent feedback about their condition and the progress of the treatment they receive. Patients can also go to support groups of other cancer patients to talk about their condition and what they are going through. The mutual support will help boost their emotional well-being by letting them know that they are not suffering alone.
Anyone who suspects of having colon cancer or has recently been diagnosed should consult with a physician. We know that having colon cancer can be a very scary time and Dr. Alvaro Garcia and his clinic General Bariatric Surgery of South Florida are here to help at any time. Schedule an appointment and a consultation today with Dr. Alvaro Garcia today.