The prognosis of colorectal cancer depends on the size, location, and number of cancerous tumors in the colorectum. The majority of patients with colorectal cancer have small tumors confined to the rectum or appendix, while a minority of patients have widespread tumor growth over the whole colon. In advanced cancer, the majority of patients will have to die of colorectal cancer. The five-year survival rate for people with stage I and II cancers of the colon and the cancer of the appendix is about 90 percent.
Colon cancer symptoms may be difficult to recognize initially. Large intestine may be painful with severe bleeding, nausea and vomiting, constipation, abdominal bloating, and diarrhea. Some patients may have no symptoms at all, while some may exhibit large intestine pain and anal discomfort. Abdominal pain can be due to inflammation of the muscle lining, and stool can sometimes be hard to pass. Other symptoms such as excessive sweating and unusual fatigue also occur.
A physician may suspect the presence of colorectal cancer based on the symptoms described above. If these symptoms are present and the patient has a history of cancer in the family, he may predict that a tumor is near the colon. It is important to note that any suspected tumor should be examined and tested by a qualified surgeon. In some instances, the doctor may consider a colonoscopy to confirm the diagnosis.
A stool occult blood test helps in the diagnosis of this disease. This test can differentiate between normal and abnormal bowel movements. It can also identify the type of bowel movement caused for the irregular bleeding, pain, and diarrhea experienced by the patient. In addition, it can determine the presence of parasites and tumor in the digestive tract.
Other tests may include a CT scan of the abdomen, a biopsy of the abdomen, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the abdomen, and a computerized tomography (CT) scan of the upper part of the pelvis or the chest. The initial examination is done to find out if there are abnormalities. If a tumor is found in the digestive tract or in the colon, the doctor may order tests to determine if these tumors are benign or malignant. Treatment for colorectal cancer usually involves surgery to remove the tumor or to perform a radiation therapy to the affected area.
Patients with colorectal cancer should have regular thorough examination and blood tests to monitor their health. This is to enable the doctor to monitor changes in the condition and to determine the progression of the disease. Some of the common early warning signs include abnormal rectal bleeding, unusual pain in the lower back or abdomen, or fatigue. Abnormal discharges from the anus or wounds in the stomach may also be indicated. In some cases, blood in the stool may also be present.
A genetic condition referred to as familial hyperumia may occur in an individual who has been exposed to a high level of asbestos in the workplace. If the person in this situation has adenocarcinoma or colon adenocarcinoma, then he or she will also develop polyps in their colon, which may grow into carcinomas. People who have a family member with colorectal cancer are at risk to get this condition. Individuals who have one or more family members who have had this type of hereditary disease are at risk for it as well.
As a part of its investigation of the colorectal cancer symptoms may also include a colonoscopy. It is done to examine the state of the colon and to discover any abnormal growths or masses that may be there. There are various tests that can be done in order to detect if there is truly any sign of the condition. Sometimes, it is found that the signs of the condition are not really related to colon cancer, and that the signs simply point to something else
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