Colon Cancer Diagnosis comprises of a series of tests that will confirm the existence of cancer.
Cancer of the rectum and colon for the most part is adenocarcinoma cells that arise from the epithelial coating of the intestine. It may commence as a benign polyp which may then become a malignant one that can invade and damage normal tissues and metastasize to adjacent organs. Cancer cells can transfer away from the prime tumor to other parts of the body through the bloodstream and the lymphatic system.
What are the Gereontologic Considerations for Colon Cancer Diagnosis?
Signs of Colon Cancer has a high incidence in geriatric patients. The incidence of this disease increases as we age. Symptoms of Colon Cancer are often menacing. The primarily cause of fatigue is iron deficiency anemia which is due to a long term hemorrhage in the affected area. In early phases, intermittent bleeding and slight changes in the bowel patterns may occur. The late symptoms are obstruction, abdominal pain rectal bleeding and tenesmus.
Dietary carcinogens are the linked cause of Cancer of the colon in geriatric patients. The lack of fiber is a foremost causative aspect for the reason that the fecal movement in the intestines are prolonged which lengthens the exposure to carcinogenic agents. High alcohol consumption, smoking and excessive dietary fat intake increase the prevalence of Colorectal Cancer Symptoms. Dietary folate and physical activity have shielding effects.
There are major apprehensions for geriatric patients during diagnostic procedures and treatment such as aging and limiting the clinical trials on them. Aging is the gradual loss in function or physical reserve capacity through time. With this reason, co-morbidity may not endure chemotherapeutic agents and diagnostic procedures such as surgeries. Limiting clinical trials should be implemented because it will decrease the toxicity effect of drugs and procedures to geriatric patients.
How is Colon Cancer Diagnosis Done?
If Colon Cancer Symptoms are present then you might consider seeing a physician and undergoing diagnostic examinations to confirm or rule out the disease. A Digital Rectal Exam is performed to palpate the lining of the patient’s rectum for presence of polyps or an irregular mass. It is executed by inserting a gloved finger to the patient’s anus to the rectum.
Colonoscopy is a type of endoscopic test that visualizes the colon by inserting a flexible, thin plastic tube with a small camera on the end via the opening of the anus. The camera projects the images of the colon to a monitor. Before the procedure is done, the patient is instructed not to eat or drink anything and is required to take laxative preparations that will clear the colon of the fecal matter.
Barium enema can be constituted with X-ray to have a clearer image of the tumor in the colon. Barium will be introduced in the colon passing through the anus using an enema. It is a radioactive contrast which is a medium to provide clearer results. Air contrast Barium enema can be effective to identify malignant tumors. However, this type of enema won’t be able to detect small tumors or those located on the far end of the colon.
The patient can undergo Chest X-ray and CT scan of the abdomen to make certain that the Cancer cells didn’t metastasize to other organs. Blood test for Carcinoembyonic Antigen (CEA) can as well be taken because it is the substance formed by cancer cells and its presence in the blood will confirm the diagnosis.
What are the Treatments for Colon Cancer?
The most common management for colon cancer is Surgery. In this procedure, a small rid of the adjacent healthy bowel, the tumor, nearby lymph nodes are detached. The surgeon afterwards reconnects the sections of the bowel that are healthy. If the patient’s rectum is severely affected, the the rectum is removed. The surgeon will then create a colostomy or an opening of the abdominal wall for the excretion of solid wastes or fecal matter. Special considerations are indicated to this type of patients. The survival rate of cancer patients also increase after this procedure.
In some instances, when the cancer cells has already penetrate itself to the wall of the colon or to the adjacent tissues and lymph nodes to the affected area, then the risk of the tumor to recur increases. Chemotherapy is introduced in adjunction with surgery to improve the likelihood of the patient’s survival. It is the utilization of medications to eradicate the cancer cells in the body. It is a general therapy that spreads all throughout the human structure to kill abnormal cells. This procedure is executed subsequent to surgery. This is also called as Adjuvant Therapy.
After manifesting Colon Cancer Symptoms and undergoing Colon Cancer Diagnosis, treatments are introduced such as Radiation Therapy. This can decrease the local reappearance of colon cancer prior and after surgery. The side effects of this procedure are skin irritation on the affected area, hair loss at the pelvic area and fatigue.