The following article discusses the various stages and treatment options for colon cancer. In addition, you will learn about the role of genetics in the development of colon cancer. There are three main types of colon cancer: primary and metastatic. To learn more about each type of colon cancer, read the following articles:
Colon cancer screening is a very important part of bowel health and can help you detect the disease early. It uses CT scans and other advanced medical technology to look at a sample of stool. You can complete this test at home, as it requires little bowel preparation and no sedation. If you’re over 50 and suspect that you may have colorectal cancer, talk to your doctor about this option. Several types of tests are available, and the results will vary depending on your personal risk for colon cancer.
A high-risk polyp is one that has the size of 1 centimeter or larger and contains cancerous cells. This condition can also be caused by inherited changes in certain genes, such as familial adenomatous polyposis or Lynch syndrome. While polyps can be benign, cancerous ones may be difficult to remove, and surgery is required. In most cases, colon cancer is diagnosed during its early stages. A high-risk polyp can be identified through blood in the stool, which can be dark or bright red.
There are three primary stages of colon cancer. Stage 2A is cancer that hasn’t spread to nearby tissues or lymph nodes. Stage 2B is colon cancer that has spread to the muscle and outer layer of the colon. Stage 2C is cancer that has spread to other organs and tissues nearby, but has not reached distant areas. If you have reached this stage, you should seek a second opinion from your physician. A stage 3A tumor is the most advanced form of colon cancer and should be treated immediately.
There have been rapid advances in the field of colon cancer genetics, with new studies identifying acquired alterations in oncogenes and putative tumor suppressor genes that are implicated in the development of this disease. Genetic studies have provided the foundation for better prognosis and therapeutic regimens and may identify novel cancer therapies. Molecular studies will further define underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms affecting colon cancer. In the near future, genetic tests for colon cancer may be developed to identify genes that are associated with the disease.
While the relationship between colon cancer and diet is not completely understood, a recent study identified two broad dietary patterns. The “Western” pattern included foods such as red meat, poultry, and processed meat, along with refined grains and sweets. The other pattern, called the “prudent” diet, included fruits, vegetables, and fish and poultry. While both dietary patterns increased the risk of colon cancer, the prudent diet had more favorable effects on survival.
Lymph node biopsy
A lymph node biopsy is a diagnostic test for colon cancer that determines if the cancer has spread to nearby organs or lymph nodes. This test is performed when the cancer has spread to four to six lymph nodes in a patient’s colon. If the cancer has spread to seven lymph nodes, it is a sign of stage III colon cancer, which has not yet spread to nearby organs.
There are two main types of surgery for colon cancer. Partial colectomy (removal of part of the colon) and total colectomy (removal of the entire colon). Partial colectomy removes just the part of the colon that has the cancer and leaves the other two sides intact. A stoma is created to join the two sides after the surgery. The stoma may require a few days of care, but most patients regain normal bowel function. During surgery, the surgeon may remove lymph nodes located near the colon. Lymph nodes are often affected by cancer, and removing them will help stage the cancer and plan additional treatment.