Colorectal cancer

Integrated Digestive, Liver, and Cancer Centre is a unique centre which makes a serious effort to deliver Integrated Care in Gastro-intestinal and liver diseases. All the specialists concerned in the care of the patient hold discussions and arrive at a comprehensive treatment plan. At Columbia Asia, this has been made possible, as all the concerned doctors come together, as a team to diagnose and treat patients with combined effort and diligence to make the digestive system work like a clock.

Specialists of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Clinical nutrition, Bariatric surgery, Colorectal surgery, Hepatopancreatobiliary surgery, etc., adopt a fully integrated model of care that is aimed at optimizing the patient's level of care and recovery to offer effective and patient friendly service. This includes a shorter wait for an appointment and seamless interaction with all of their specialists.

What is Colorectal Cancer?
This is a term used for cancer occurring in either the colon or the rectum. The colon is the large intestine which is five feet long and absorbs nutrients and also act as a storehouse for stools. The stool moves into the rectum, which is about 6 inches long and from here stool passes out of the anus. Most colorectal cancers start as a polyp, which is a growth that starts in the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Most polyps are not cancers. Only some polyps called adenomas can become cancerous.

Signs and symptoms
Some of the symptoms include: Blood in stools, Change in bowel movements, Weight loss, Loss of appetite, Tiredness and Unexplained anemia in those over 50 years

Risk factors:
Some of the risk factors are: Diet high in red meat, processed meat and low fibre, Smoking, Alcohol, and Irritable bowel disease, Lack of physical activity, Family history and Obesity.

The diagnosis is done by a biopsy of a suspicious area or a polyp by colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. Imaging tests such as CT of the chest, abdomen and pelvis, MRI and PET scan are done to determine the spread.

Screening Tests
Screening are important as it helps in early detection which determines the outcome. Colonoscopy every 10 years or flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years is recommended from 50-75years. For those at high risk, they should get themselves screened after 40 years.
Management and Treatment
The management or treatment depends on the stage of the cancer. In early stages the aim of treatment is cure but in the later stages, it is palliative. Modalities of treatment include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Minimally Invasive Surgery can be used to treat a majority of colon and rectal cancers. 

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