Colon is alternative term for the large intestine, which is the lowest part of the digestive system. It is that part of the body where the water and salt from solid wastes are absorbed before the waste exits the body from the end of the anus.

Cancer in the colon forms when there is unrestrained cell growth in the cells of the large intestine. If the cancer cells in inner walls of the large intestine are not removed in colonoscopy, then cancer cells can grow in a number of places, invading and destroying healthy tissues all through the body. This condition is called metastasis and is very a difficult form to treat.

There were estimated 95,270 new cases of colon cancer in the U.S. in 2016, as per the American Cancer Society.

Causes of Colon Cancer

  • Diabetes
  • Polyps
  • raits, habits, and diet
  • Genes – the DNA type
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Genes – the family type
  • Acromegaly

Symptoms of colon cancer

  • Continual urges to defecate
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Iron deficiency
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Narrow stools
  • Pain during bowel movements
  • Unexplained weight loss

Treatment of Colon Cancer

1. Surgery-
Surgical resection is the most common treatment of this cancer and it involves removal of the tumour, some surrounding healthy tissue, part of the healthy rectum and close by lymph nodes during the operation. Other surgical options for colorectal cancer include-

  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Colostomy for rectal cancer
  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or cryoablation

2.  Radiation therapy-
This therapy involves use of high-energy x-rays to destroy cancer cells because the tumour. It is popular choice as well because the tumour tends to reappear near where it initially started. There are few radiation therapies to choose from-

  • Intraoperative radiation therapy
  • External-beam radiation therapy
  • Radiation therapy for rectal cancer
  • Stereotactic radiation therapy
  • Brachytherapy

3. Chemotherapy-
A medical oncologist, a doctor whois an expertise in treating cancer with medicines, treats cancer through chemotherapy by the use of drugs which prevents the ability of cancer cells to grow and divide. Targeted therapy drugs are combined with chemotherapy drugs include-

  • Irinotecan (Camptosar)Capecitabine (Xeloda)
  • Fluorouracil (5-FU, Adrucil)
  • Trifluridine/tipiracil (TAS-102, Lonsurf)
  • Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin)

Through the use these drugs many treatment regimens arise. A few of them are-

  • 5-FU
  • 5-FU with leucovorin, a vitamin that improves the effectiveness of 5-FUCapecitabine, an oral form of 5-FU
  • Irinotecan alone
  • Capecitabine in the company of either irinotecan or oxaliplatin

4. Targeted Therapy

The specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that support the growth and endurance of cancer cells in the body are targeted in this therapy. For colon cancer, the targeted therapies options are-

  • Anti-angiogenesis therapy
  • Bevacizumab
  • Regorafenib
  •  Ziv-aflibercept and ramucirumab
  • Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors

Recovery from cancer is not always possible and not every cancer can be cured or controlled. Therefore, it is best to be open and honest with the helping to team to ensure full healing and support during the treatment.