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Best Colon Cancer Treatment in India

Colon cancer is the type of cancer that is first seen in the colon or the large intestine. The colon is actually the final section of the digestive tract. Colon cancer usually affects older adults, even though it may also occur at other ages. Initially, colon cancer occurs as small non-cancerous clumps of cells known as polyps, which form inside the colon. And over time, these polyps convert into colon cancers. Polyps are small and occur and few of these occur at a time. For this reason, it is recommended by doctors to go for regular screening tests to prevent the occurrence of colon cancer by removing the polyps before the polyps turn into colon cancer. 

But somehow, if the polyps turn into colon cancer then also you have various treatment options today or at least control it from spreading like radiation therapy, surgery, and many drug treatments are also available now like immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. 

Sometimes, colon cancer also known as the colorectal cancer that is derived from the combination of the terms rectal cancer and colon cancer that is first seen in the rectum. 

Symptoms and signs of Colon cancer: – 

  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Iron-deficiency anemia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Too much weight loss
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Continuous urges for defecating despite passing tools
  • Abdominal pain, gas, bloating, or cramping
  • Bright red bleeding is seen from the rectum
  • Blood coming out from the stool that may also make the stool appear as black or dark brown
  • Changes in the consistency of the stool like narrow or loose stool 

Abdominal pain and weight loss usually take place in the later stages. Another point to be noted is that if cancer spreads to other locations of the body like the liver then it may cause other health issues like jaundice. 

Early symptoms: – 

Colon cancer causes no such symptoms in the early stages. The symptoms can become more noticeable in the later stages. However, some common signs or symptoms in the early stages may include: – 

  • Blood coming out from the stool frequently
  • A change in the type or frequency of bowel movements like constipation, narrow stools, or diarrhea. 
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Anemia because of intestinal bleeding
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Cramping, bloating, and abdominal pain
  • A feeling of fullness or not emptying of the bowels even after the bowel movement. 

Symptoms in males: – 

The symptoms of colon cancer are usually the same in both males and females that are the symptoms mentioned above. 

Symptoms in females: – 

Females also experience the same symptoms as listed above with an added symptom that is the females having menstruation may have anemia from this type of cancer and may go through irregular menstrual cycles. 

Stages of colon cancer: – 

The different stages assigned to colon cancer actually indicate how far the disease has spread and what is the present size of the tumour. In this type of cancer, the different stages are as follows: – 

  • Stage 0: – This stage is known as the carcinoma stage. At this point of time, the cancer is actually in a very initial stage and has not yet grown even more than the colon’s inner layer and can be easily treated. 
  • Stage 1: – Cancer has already grown with another layer of tissue. 
  • Stage 2: – Cancer, in its stage 2, has reached the colon’s outer layers but has yet not spread beyond the colon. 
  • Stage 3: – Cancer, in stage 3, has already grown through the colon’s outer layers and has reached from one to three lymph nodes. However, in this stage, cancer has not yet spreaded to the distant sites. 
  • Stage 4: – In this stage, cancer has already reached the other tissues that are beyond the colon’s wall. With the progression of stage 4, the colon cancer will reach the other distant parts of the body as well. 

Causes of colon cancer: – 

Generally, colon cancer starts when healthy cells of the colon build changes or mutations in their DNAs. The DNA of a cell contains some instructions that assist the cells about what to do. 

Healthy cells in the colon grow and get divided in an orderly way to keep the body normally functioning. But when a DNA of a cell is damaged and then becomes cancerous, the cells in the colon continue to divide even when new cells are not required. And as these continuously dividing cells get accumulated in the colon, they together form a tumour. 

With time, these cancer cells will grow to destroy and invade the nearby normal tissues. And the cells can even travel to the other body parts to form deposits or for metastasis. 

Risk factors of colon cancer : – 

Factors that can increase the risk of colon cancer are as follows: – 

  • Older age: – Colon cancer can easily be diagnosed no matter how old you are. But as per the research, majority of the colon cancer patients are above 50 years old. 
  • Inflammatory intestinal conditions: – As per the studies, chronic inflammatory diseases in the colon like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can also increase the risk of this type of cancer. 
  • Personal history of colon or colorectal cancer: – If you had non-cancerous colon polyps already in your body then there is a high chance of having colon cancer in the future. 
  • Inherited syndromes, which increase the risk of colon cancer: – Sometimes gene mutations are passed from one generation to another in a family and that can increase the risk of having colon cancer. But this is very rare care and only a minor percentage of patients acquire colon cancer through inherited genes. However, a common inherited syndrome that boosts the risk of colon cancer is FAP or Familial Adenomatous Polyposis. 
  • High-fat and low-fiber diet: – Colorectal cancer or colon cancer can be associated with the typical western diet plans that are high in fat and low in fiber. Some research and studies have revealed that there are high chances of colon cancer if you eat too much processed and red meat. 
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle: – Inactive people are more likely to acquire colon cancer. Keeping yourself busy with different physical activities can lower the risks of colon cancer. 
  • Diabetes: – People having diabetes or taking insulin have more chances of having colon cancer. 
  • Obesity: – Obese people have more risks of getting colon cancer. 
  • Excessive smoking: – People who smoke excessively have an increased risk of acquiring colon cancer. 
  • Alcohol: – Excessive intake of alcohol can increase the risk of getting colon cancer. 
  • Also, radiation therapy done in the abdomen for treating previous cancers can increase the chances of colon cancer. 

Diagnosis: – 

Screening of colorectal or colon cancer: – 

Doctors recommend some screening tests to even those who have no signs or symptoms of colon cancer to diagnose the chances or signs of this disease or any non-cancerous polyps in the colon. Identifying colon cancer in the earliest stage offers high chances of cure. Screening can help in reducing the risks of colon cancer. 

Generally, doctors recommend that those with a mild risk of colorectal or colon cancer should begin their screening when they are around 45 years old. But those with increased risk like the ones with a family history, or those who smoke too much or take excessive amounts of alcohol, should also consider beginning screening sooner. 

Various screening options are there and each comes with its own set of pros and cons. Discuss these options with the doctor as per your condition and choose to get the right one you actually need. If colonoscopy is needed then the polyps can be eradicated during the process before the polyps get converted into cancer. 

Diagnosing colon cancer: – 

Colonoscopy: – If your symptoms or signs indicate that you can acquire colon cancer then the doctor may suggest you one of these processes. 

Using a scope for examining the inside of the colon ( colonoscopy ): –

This process known as Colonoscopy, uses a flexible, slender, and long tube that is attached to the video camera for monitoring and viewing the entire rectum and colon. And while monitoring, if any area in the rectum or colon is suspected or found at risk, the doctor may pass some surgical tools via the tube to get the tissue samples or biopsies for analysing and removing the polyps. 

Blood tests: –  

There is no such blood test that can ensure if you have colon cancer. But still, your doctor can suggest you some blood tests to get clues about the overall health condition including liver function tests and kidney function tests. The doctor can also suggest blood tests for a certain type of chemical produced by the colon cancers like CEA or carcinoembryonic antigen. Tracked for some time, the CEA level in the blood can help the doctor to understand the prognosis and if the cancer is actually responding to the procedure or treatment. 

Determining and diagnosing the extent of colon cancer in a patient’s body: –  

If you have been diagnosed with colorectal or colon cancer then the doctor may recommend you some tests for determining the stage or extent of the cancer. This helps in determining which procedure or treatment needs to be given to you at that time. 

These tests given may also include some imaging processes like pelvic, abdominal, chest CT scans, etc. In most cases, it may not be possible to detect your cancer stage until you are made to go through colon cancer surgery. 

The different cancer stages are indicated using Roman numerals with the lowest stage indicating that cancer has just started and can be cured. For instance, stage 0 means that the cancer is restricted to the colon’s inner lining and stage IV means the cancer is in its advanced stage and has already spread to many other parts of the body. 

Treatment colon cancer: – 

The different treatment options available for colon cancer in India give doctors ample choices to recommend to the colon cancer patients depending on their condition. Also, the area of the colon that is affected by cancer determines the treatment method of colon cancer that should be given to the patients. Usually, colon or colorectal cancer treatment involves surgery for removing the cancer. And other treatment options like chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also be suggested by the doctor as per the patient’s condition. 

Surgery for colon cancer in the early stage: – 

This is the most commonly suggested colon cancer remedy or treatment suggested to th patients who are in the early stage of the cancer. If you are having stage 0 or stage 1 colon cancer, then the doctor may suggest you a minimally invasive procedure of surgery for: – 

  • Removing the polyps in the colon during the colonoscopy and this process is termed as the polypectomy. If the cancer has just appeared or is quite small then the doctor can completely remove the cancer during the colonoscopy. 
  • Ednoscopic mucosal resection: – Bigger polyps may be eradicated during colonoscopy with special tools for removing the polyps along with a small part of the colon’s inner lining and this procedure is known as the endoscopic mucosal resection. 
  • Minimally invasive surgery or laparoscopic surgery: – Polyps which cannot be eradicated during the colonoscopy can be removed with laparoscopic surgery. And in this process, the doctor will perform an operation via many small incisions in the abdominal wall by inserting instruments having attached cameras for displaying the colon on the video monitor. And the doctor may also take some samples from the lymph nodes of the cancer-affected area. 

A point to be noted is that many doctors may also suggest a colonography which is the virtual colonoscopy before recommending or proceeding with any surgery. Virtual colonoscopy makes use of a CT scan for producing cross-sectional images of the abdominal organs.

Surgery in case of the mid-stages of colon cancer: –  

  • Partial colectomy: – During this process, the doctor eradicates the cancer-affected part of the colon with a margin of the normal tissues on both sides of the affected part. The doctor can reconnect the healthy part of the rectum or colon during this procedure. And this entire process is known as laparoscopy which is a minimally invasive approach. 
  • Surgery to give way for the wastes to leave the patient’s body: – When it is not possible to again reconnect the healthy parts of the rectum or colon, the patient may then need an ostomy. And this procedure involves developing an opening on the abdomen wall from a part of the remaining bowel to allow the move out into the bag-like structure that securely fits over that opening. Sometimes, this process termed as ostomy is temporarily done to give enough time to the rectum or colon to heal post-surgery. And in some cases, it is done permanently. 
  • Removal of the lymph nodes: – Usually, the nearby lymph nodes are removed as well during the colon or colorectal surgery and are tested for cancer. 

If the patient has reached the mid-stages of colon cancer, he or she should not take any risk and get the treatment or surgery done from the best hospital for colorectal surgery in India.

Surgery for the advanced cancer stages: – 

If the cancer has reached the advanced stages and the health condition is getting worse day by day then the doctor may suggest a major surgery for relieving the blockage of the colon to improve the condition. However, this operation is not performed to cure the disease but to relieve the symptoms and signs like pain, bleeding, and blockage. And the patients who are in this stage of colon cancer must get the operation done from the best hospital for colon cancer treatment in india.  

In certain cases in which the cancer has already spread in the lungs or liver but the overall health condition is fine then in those cases, the doctor may suggest some localised treatments or surgery for removing the cancer. Chemotherapy can be also used after this procedure. However, this approach gives a chance to remove cancer for a long term. 

Chemotherapy: – 

Chemotherapy makes use of some drugs for destroying the cancer cells. In the case of colon cancer, chemotherapy is basically given post-surgery if the cancer has spread to lymph nodes or has grown larger. In this way, this therapy will kill the cancer cells in the colon and ultimately lower the risks of recurrence of cancer. Chemotherapy may also be used prior to the operation for shrinking the large cancer so that it becomes easy to remove it through surgery. Chemotherapy can also be used for relieving the signs of colon cancer, which cannot be removed with the operation or which have spread to the other body parts as well. Sometimes, chemotherapy is also combined with the radiation therapy if required. 

For the patients who are in their initial stages of colon cancer, doctors recommend chemotherapy for a shorter time span to them after the surgery. This helps to cut down the side effects and may prove to be very effective. However, the chemotherapy cost for colon cancer in India may vary depending on the location, the hospital and its services, and some other related factors. Well, the best colon cancer doctor in India and the best colon cancer hospital in India will always ensure to offer reliable and cost-effective treatments.

Radiation therapy: – 

This therapy or treatment makes use of powerful energy resources like protons and x-rays for killing the cancer cells. This might be used for shrinking the larger cancer prior to surgery so that the cancer can be eradicated easily. 

And when surgery is not an option, this therapy can be used for relieving the signs or symptoms like pain. Also, sometimes radiation therapy is combined with chemotherapy. 

The average Radiation therapy cost for colon cancer in India usually ranges somewhere between 30,000 to even 20,00,000 depending on which type of radiation technique is recommended to you base don your condition.

Targeted drug therapy: –  

Targeted drug therapy mainly focuses on particular abnormalities present in the cancer cells in the colon. By blocking the abnormalities, the targeted drug therapy can kill the cancer cells easily. 

Usually, the targeted drugs are combined with chemotherapy and the targeted drugs are reserved for the patients who have reached the advanced colon cancer stages. 

Immunotherapy: – 

Immunotherapy is also a drug treatment, which makes use of the immune system of the patient to fight cancer. The disease-fighting immune system of the patient’s body may not attack the cancer area as the cancer cells are found to produce proteins which prevent the immune system cells from identifying the cancer cells. This treatment that is the immunotherapy actually works by interfering in the process. 

Immunotherapy is generally recommended for the patients going through advanced colon cancer stages. The doctor may get the patient’s cancer cells tested in order to see if they are responding to the treatment. 

Supportive or palliative care: – 

Palliative or supportive care is a specialised medical care which mainly focuses on giving relief from excessive pain and the other signs of colon cancer. This treatment option is given by a team of nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals who together work with the patient, his or her family and the other doctors to give extra support complimenting the ongoing care and therapies. 

The palliative or supportive care team aims to improve the condition of the patient’s life. And this type of care is given along with the other curative treatments or therapies discussed above. With this type of care, the cancer patients may live longer and feel better. 

General FAQs

1.What is colon or colorectal cancer?

2.What are the polyps?

3.How does Colon cancer or colorectal cancer develop?

4.If you have a polyp, does that mean that you will get colorectal or colon cancer?

5.Can anyone get colon cancer? Who is at more risk?

6.What are the symptoms and signs of colon or colorectal cancer?

7.Is colorectal or colon cancer hereditary or genetic?

8.When should you get a colonoscopy?

9.Does your diet play a crucial role in colon cancer?

10.Can colon cancer be prevented?

11.What are the chances of getting rid of the colostomy bag if you have surgery for colon or rectal cancer?

12.What is the average cost of colon cancer treatment in India?

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