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Colon cancer, also known as bowel cancer or colorectal cancer or cancer of the bowel, is the cancer of large intestine (lower part of the digestive system). Majority of colon cancer cases start as small and non-cancerous clumps of the cells known as adenomatous. After a certain period of time, these polyps become colon cancers.
Adenocarcinoma is considered as the most common type of colon cancer. This type of colon cancer begins in the inner layer that spreads deep into the other layers.
Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors : This is considered as a rare type of colon cancer that begins in a cell found in the gastrointestinal tract lining known as interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs). These type of tumors are classified as sarcomas that include cartilage, fat, bones, blood vessels, deep skin tissues, muscle and nerves.
Squamous Cell Carcinomas: Certain portions of the gastrointestinal tract such as the end of the anus and the upper part of the oesophagus are lined with squamous cells. Squamous cell carcinomas are those cancers that begin in these cells.
Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors: This type of colon cancer is considered as a slow-growing cancer that develops in the neuroendocrine cell in the GI tract lining.
Primary Colorectal Lymphomas: The cancers that grow in the lymphatic system of cells (lymphocytes) are known as lymphomas. Primary colorectal lymphomas develop in the later stages of life and are more commonly seen in men as compared to women.
The early symptoms of colon cancer include -
A number of tests are performed for diagnosing colon cancer that include -
There are six treatment options for colon cancer that include -
Targeted Therapy: Certain substances and drugs are used by the targeted therapy in order to target particular cancer cells without causing any harm to nearby normal cells. The two types of targeted therapy include -
Chemotherapy: Certain types of drugs are used for stopping the growth of cancer cells or for destroying the cancer cells. The injection of these drugs is done into a vein from where they enter the bloodstream and they then travel through the entire body.
Radiation Therapy: High-energy beams are used for destroying cancer cells. Internal radiation and external radiation are the two types of radiation therapy.
Surgery: The surgical procedure involves the removal of diseased segment with sufficient margins, surrounding lymph nodes and tissue.
Sometimes chemotherapy or radiation therapy is provided after surgery in order to shrink the tumor. This makes the removal of the tumor easy while simultaneously lessening the problems associated with bowel control after surgery.