The colon tumor is an abnormal growth of cells found in the colon (colon), and it can become colon cancer.
If the tumor spreads to the lower part of the colon (rectum or rectum), colorectal carcinoma can develop.
What is colon cancer?
Cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. When these growths affect the cells of the colon, they cause colon cancer.
Most colon tumors arise from small, non-cancerous (benign) tumors, so-called adenomatous polyps, which form on the inner walls of the intestine. Some of these polyps can become malignant (malignant) colon tumors over time if they have not been removed during a colonoscopy. The tumor cells of the colon penetrate the healthy, tumor-related tissue, damage it and cause many complications.
The cancer cells of the malignant tumors can migrate via the blood and lymphatic circulation and spread to other areas of the body. These cancer cells can grow in different places, invading and destroying healthy tissues throughout the body.
These formations are called metastases and are the result of a serious disease that is very difficult to treat.
Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the United States and the third most common cancer after lung and prostate cancer in men and after lung and breast cancer in women.
Causes of colon tumor
Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States.
Almost all colon tumors begin in the glands of the walls of the colon and rectum.
There is no single cause of colorectal cancer. Almost all colon tumors begin as benign polyps and slowly become cancerous.
There is a high risk of colorectal cancer in the following cases:
- Age over 60 years
- Eating lots of red and processed meat
- Appearance of colorectal polyps
- Occurrence of inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)
- Familiäre Disposition von Kolonkarzinom
- Vorausgegangener Brustkrebs
Manche angeborene Erkrankungen vermehren das Risiko, Kolonkrebs zu entwickeln. Zwei der häufigsten sind:
- Familial adenomatous polyposis
- Hereditary non-polyposis-associated colorectal cancer (or Lynch syndrome)
Diet is crucial for the risk of colon tumor.
Colon cancer may be related to a high-fat diet and red meat, as well as low fiber content.
Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol are other risk factors for colorectal cancer.
What are the symptoms of colon tumor?
The colorectal tumor can be present for many years before it develops symptoms.
Symptoms vary depending on the location of the tumor in the colon.
1. The right colon is large, tumors in the right colon can grow before causing abdominal symptoms.
As a rule, tumors in the right side cause iron deficiency anemia, which results from slow blood loss over a long period of time.
Iron deficiency anemia causes fatigue and weakness.
2. The colon descending on the left side is narrower than the ascending colon. Therefore, tumors in the left colon are more likely to cause partial or complete occlusion (or blockage) of the intestine.
Tumors that lead to incomplete intestinal obstruction can cause symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramps and abdominal swelling.
Bright red blood in the stool may also indicate a growth at the end of the left colon or rectum.
When carcinoma develops, the symptoms are:
- Diarrhoea or constipation
- Change in stool texture
- Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
- Meteorism, cramps or abdominal pain
- Pain during bowel movements
- Constant urge to defecate
- Weakness and fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Iron deficiency (anaemia)
If the cancer spreads or metastasizes, further symptoms may occur in the affected area. The symptoms of metastases ultimately depend on the position in which the tumor spreads. The liver is the organ in which metastases are most often formed.
Diagnosis of colon tumor
If a patient has the symptoms of colon cancer, their doctor can check for the condition by performing various examinations:
- Search for hidden (occult) blood in the stool (guaiac test or FOBT) – Colon cancer sometimes causes small drops of blood that are too small to be detected with the naked eye. In the FOBT test, a special chemical substance is used to examine the patient’s stool sample afterwards.
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy – a flexible soft tube, a so-called sigmoidoscope, is used. With this, the doctor looks for polyps inside the patient’s colon.
- Colon contrast enema – barium, a metallic silver-colored substance, is introduced into the patient’s colon through the rectum. The barium appears on the patient’s X-ray.
- Colonoscopy – a colonoscope, a thin instrument, is used for this. The doctor thereby looks at the inside of the colon of the patient. In the procedure, the doctor takes small tissue samples (biopsies) to examine them for cancer.
If the doctor discovers polyps, he can also remove them.
- Virtual colonoscopy, a newer method, shows images of the colon via a CT without having to enter the body.
DNA-based stool test
The DNA-based stool test examines the DNA in a patient’s stool sample to find genetic defects related to the colon tumor.
Treatment guidelines by stage
Since these tumors have not yet grown beyond the inner intestinal wall, surgery is sufficient to remove the cancer. This operation is called polypectomy.
In most cases, polypectomy can be done via the colonoscope during a colonoscopy.
Colon resection (colectomy) is performed rarely and only for very large tumors.
Natural remedies include a healthy diet against cancer, an important measure to combat this disease.
These tumors have grown over different layers of colon, but have not yet spread through the intestinal walls (or into the lymph nodes).
Surgery to remove a cancerous section of the intestine and nearby lymph nodes is the standard treatment and is called partial or subtotal colectomy. No other therapies are required.
Many of these tumors have grown through the colon wall and have spread into surrounding tissues, but have not yet invaded lymph nodes.
Surgery (colectomy) may be the only treatment required.
However, the doctor may recommend adjuvant chemotherapy if the cancer has a risk of relapse (recurrence) due to some factors; Examples:
- The cells are very abnormal (high-grade) in microscopic examinations.
- The cancer has grown into the nearby organs.
- The surgeon has not removed at least 12 lymph nodes.
- The cancer was found on the edge or near a surgical sample. This means that a part may have remained.
- The cancer has led to perforation of the intestinal wall.
Doctors have different opinions on the use of chemotherapy for colon tumors in stage II.
If the surgeon is not sure that he has removed all the cancer because it has grown into other tissues, he can advise the patient to undergo radiation therapy to kill any remaining tumor cells.
In this phase, the tumor spreads to the nearby lymph nodes, but has not yet reached other areas of the body.
Surgery (partial colectomy) followed by adjuvant chemotherapy is the standard treatment at this stage.
Doctors may also recommend radiotherapy if the surgeon thinks there are some remaining tumor cells left after surgery.
For people who cannot undergo surgery due to other conditions, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy may be the main option.
The cancer has spread from the colon to distant tissues and organs. Colon cancer often develops metastases in the liver, but can also spread to other areas such as lungs, peritoneum (peritoneum, the lining of the abdominal cavity), or distant lymph nodes.
The consequence of cell invasion into the lymphatic system are enlarged lymph nodes.
The last phase of colon cancer is inoperable in most cases. However, if only a few small metastases are present in the liver or lungs, they can be completely removed together with the colon carcinoma. The operation can help to extend life expectancy.
Chemotherapy is usually given before or after surgery.
In some cases, infusion of the drug through the hepatic artery may be beneficial if the cancer has spread to the liver.
If metastases cannot be surgically removed because they are too large or too numerous, one can try to administer chemotherapy before surgery. Chemotherapy is then given again after surgery.
Another option could be to destroy the tumors in the liver through cryosurgery, ablation, or other non-surgical methods.
If the tumor is too widespread to be treated surgically, the surgeon may perform a colectomy or colostomy (transection above the carcinoma and connecting the end of the intestine with a skin opening in the abdominal wall to allow bowel emptying).
This can prevent intestinal obstruction and thus prevent some problems. Sometimes this procedure can be avoided by inserting a stent (a metal or plastic tube) into the colon during colonoscopy to keep the intestine open.
Most patients with stage IV cancer receive chemotherapy and/or targeted therapies to keep the cancer under control.
Diet for colon cancer
Many people underestimate the importance of diet in the treatment of cancer, believing that it is enough to go to the doctor and take the prescribed medications.
In truth, for optimal health, one should maintain a healthy lifestyle and follow a healthy diet.
You should avoid smoking and alcohol consumption and exercise regularly 4 times a week, for example walking for 1 hour or jogging for 30 minutes.
Nutrition is important to detoxify the liver and intestines, which regulate the immune system.
These organs also serve to eliminate waste from the body, which can cause thickening of tissues and the formation of tumors.
There are people who have only been cured of cancer through a very natural diet without pursuing cancer therapy.
These individuals have eliminated dairy, meat, refined grain products and other animal proteins from the diet, and most importantly, consumed plenty of fruits, vegetables and homemade centrifuged and freshly squeezed fruit juices.
Unfortunately, there is still no pill that can cure cancer. Therefore, nutrition is the only natural therapy that has yielded interesting results.
Therefore, you should drink water with lemon in the morning immediately after waking up (if you can tolerate it) and throughout the day you should keep many snacks with fruits and vegetables, centrifuged juices and fruit juices.
One should eat at least 5-6 meals a day and not limit yourself to breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The difference is noticeable after just a few days. You have more energy, sleep better at night and the mood improves noticeably.
Also in the following examinations one should notice a difference, for example, the tumor mass is reduced or it disappears completely.
If the patient changes his diet at an advanced stage of the tumor, cure or recovery is not always possible.
What is the survival rate for colorectal cancer? Prognosis
The first phase in colorectal cancer is called Dukes A. Since it is an early stage, the cure rate is high. After surgery, more than 9 out of 10 patients (93%) survive for more than 5 years. Unfortunately, less than 9 out of 100 patients are currently diagnosed with phase 1 colorectal cancer.
About a quarter (24%) of people with colorectal cancer experience diagnosis at this stage. Depending on various factors, more than three quarters (up to 77%) of people have a life expectancy of more than 5 years after surgery in the second phase of colorectal cancer.
About 23% of people with colorectal cancer receive the diagnosis at this advanced stage of the disease.
The result depends on the number of lymph nodes that contain tumor cells. After surgery, about half (48%) of people with phase 3 colorectal cancer survive for at least 5 years.
This affects about 9% of people with colorectal cancer, the cancer has already spread to other areas of the body at the time of diagnosis.
In this advanced cancer, the survival rate is lower. Only 6 in 100 people (6%) survive at least 5 years after diagnosis. If the cancer spreads to the liver and the liver metastases can be surgically removed, some recent studies have shown that the survival rate is 25-40%.