Almost in all vertebrates, the colon is the terminal section of the digestive system. It extracts water and salt from solid wastes before they eliminate from the body. Unlike the small intestine, the colon does not play a major role in the absorption of foods and nutrients. However, the colon does absorb water, sodium and some fat soluble vitamins.
Cancer that start building in the large intestine (colon) or the rectum (end of the colon) is Colon, or colorectal, cancer.
- Diarrhea or Constipation
- Changes in stool consistency
- Narrow stools
- Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
- Pain, cramps, or gas in the abdomen
- Pain during bowel movements
- Continual urges to defecate
- Weakness or fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Iron deficiency (anemia)
Surgery to remove part of or the entire colon is called colostomy. The surgeon will eliminate that section of the colon that contains cancer as well as the minimal area close to cancer, in the course of colectomy. The nearby lymph nodes also usually removed. Depending on the extent of the colectomy, the healthy portion of the colon will either be reattached to the rectum or attached to an opening in the wall of the abdomen called a stoma. This final option called colostomy. The waste exit from the body through the stoma into a colostomy bag instead of going out through the rectum.
Chemotherapy utilizes chemicals that interfere with the cell division process – damaging proteins or DNA – so that cancer cells will commit suicide. These treatments kill any cells (not necessarily just cancer cells) that quickly split up. The normal cells usually can heal from any chemical-induced damage while cancer cells cannot. Chemotherapy used to treat cancer that has spread or metastasized because the medicines travel throughout the entire body. Treatment occurs in cycles, so the body has time to heal between doses. However, there are some general side effects like nausea, hair loss, vomiting, and fatigue. Combination therapies generally include several types of chemotherapy or chemotherapy mixed with different treatment options.
Radiotherapy also called as, Radiation treatment, kills cancer by emphasizing high-energy rays on the cancer cells. It causes damage to the molecules that make up the cancer cells and leads them to commit suicide. Radiotherapy utilizes high-energy gamma-rays that are emitted from metals such as radium or high-energy x-rays that are created on a particular machine. Radiotherapy used as an independent treatment to destroy cancer cells or reduce a tumor, and also used in combination with other cancer treatments.