Colon cancer is a disease that causes an alarm to the majority of us. Lack of regular medical check-ups and screenings leads to late diagnosis when the disease has reached advanced stages. If not treated early, the disease can cause loss of lives. Luckily your Flemington colon cancer specialist can help save your life by performing early diagnosis and putting you in the right treatment.
What causes colon cancer
Normally cells grow, then systematically divide themselves, and later die. Cancer evolves when your cells grow and divide themselves uncontrollably, and they do not die at the right time during their life cycle.
Symptoms for colon cancer
At the initial stage, your colon may not show signs of cancerous cells, therefore, your doctor will recommend regular colon screening to help in the early detection of the disease, especially if your family has a history of colon cancer.
Some of the common symptoms of colon cancer are blood in your stool, narrowing of your stool, diarrhea, constipation, incomplete stool removal, abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, and unexplained weight loss.
Diagnosis of colon cancer
A diagnosis is made when your doctor finds something curious during the screening and showing symptoms of colon cancer. Your doctor may recommend some tests like blood tests to check your blood count, liver enzymes, and tumor markers. Diagnostic colonoscopy imaging test includes a CT scan, X-rays, MRI scan, ultrasound, PET scan, and proctoscopy.
Treatment for colon cancer
Your doctor will offer treatment depending on your cancer stage. At stage one, the cancer cell has grown in your intestine wall without spreading to lymph nodes. Therefore your doctor will remove the tumor through colonoscopy.
Colon cancer has spread through the colon wall at stage two, beyond large intestine muscular layers, and into adjacent tissue. Your doctor may use surgical resection sometimes followed by chemotherapy.
Stage three colon cancer is an advanced stage because the cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes. Your doctor may use radiation before the surgery to help shrink the tumor then perform surgery accompanied by chemotherapy and radiation to kill any remaining cancer cells.
For stage four colon cancer, the disease has spread to other organs like the lungs and liver to lymph nodes far from the colon and abdomen tissue. Your doctor will use chemotherapy and radiation therapy as primary treatments to treat cancer if you cannot go through surgery. Chemotherapy can help shrink the tumor and give you relief from symptoms and help prolong your life.
Your doctor may also use advanced treatment for metastatic colon cancer if cancer fails to respond to chemotherapy. These treatments include immunotherapy and targeted treatment. Your doctor will use immunotherapy when your immune system fails to attack the cancer. The drug will boost your immune system and restore it to fight the cancer cells effectively.
Your doctor will recommend this treatment to help starve the tumor by suppressing growth factors. In the process, the tumor may slow down or stop growing.
If you have an early diagnosis of colon cancer, there is hope for healing. Call or book an appointment online with Hunterdon Hematology Oncology, LLC.