COLON CANCER & COLON POLYPS
The colon is large intestine and colon cancer is the cancer of large intestine.
Considered the silent killer, most of these cancers develop from benign, non-cancerous colon polyps. This is why polyps are readily removed by colonoscopy.
Find Out More About Colon Cancer
What are the signs & symptoms of colon cancer?
Many patients experience no significant symptoms in the start. The types of symptoms usually depends on the site of location of cancer in colon. A patient with colon cancer can usually presents with following signs and symptoms:
A change in your bowel habits which can cause diarrhea or constipation and lasts for more than 4 weeks
Blood in your stool
Persistent pain and discomfort in abdomen
A feeling of incomplete evacuation if bowel
Unexplained weight loss
What causes colon cancer?
The exact causes of colon cancer are still not clear.
- A damage in DNA of colon cells occur which trigger neoplastic changes and growth.
- Gene mutations
Certain hereditary gene mutations increase the risk of this cancer. These include:
- Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC)
- Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
Other risk factors include:
- High-fat and low-fiber diet
- African-American race
- A personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps
- Inflammatory intestinal conditions
- Inherited syndromes including hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome) and familial adenomatous polyposis.
- Family history of colon cancer.
How do we diagnose colon cancer?
Diagnosis of colon cancer is done by:
- Complete medical history
- Physical examination
- Blood and stool examination
How do we treat colon cancer?
Treatment of colon cancer is surgery. Early stage cancer is treated by following minimally-invasive surgery options:
- Removing polyps during a colonoscopy
- Endoscopic mucosal resection
- Minimally invasive surgery
Find Out More About Colon Polyps
What are colon polyps?
Colon polyps are growths, cluster of cells that form on the inner lining of colon/large intestine. Most of the polyps are non-neoplastic and are not harmful but some of them might cause colon cancer over time and are called neoplastic polyps. ABOUT 1 IN 3 INDIVIDUALS HAVE POLYPS. Therefore, colon polyps require POLYPECTOMY.
What causes colon polyps?
The exact cause of colon polyps is not known. However, there are a number of risk factors which increase the chances of developing colon cancer including genetic syndromes and family history.
What are the signs and symptons of colon polyps?
Colon polyps usually are asymptomatic. Most of the times polyps are found suddenly during colonoscopy. However, there are certain cases which present with some or all of the following symptoms and signs:
- Rectal bleeding
- Change in stool color which might appear black
- Change in bowel habits usually constipation which last longer than a week
- Pain might be due to bowel obstruction
Iron deficiency anemia due to slow bleeding which might go unnoticed. This leads to development of fatigue and shortness of breath
How do we diagnose colon polyps?
ur expert gastroenterologist at NYC Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Dr Oliner do reliable and definitive diagnosis through the following screening methods:
- Colonoscopy and biopsy
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy
- Stool-based tests
Experienced pathologists examine polyp tissues to make sure if polyp is cancerous or not.
How do we treat colon polyps?
Colon polyps can be removed during colonoscopy. The following options are available for removal:
Removal with forceps or a wire loop (polypectomy)
Surgery, if necessary