Colorectal cancer can be an intimidating disease to deal with. When it comes to treating colorectal cancer, doctors always stress the importance of identifying the symptoms early. This is because colorectal cancer of the early stages is fully treatable but as much as the treatment is delayed, the chances of a full recovery also decrease.
The unfortunate thing about colorectal cancer is that the symptoms often only show up when the cancer is at an advanced stage. The symptoms that do show up are also common to other diseases like haemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and more, which often leads to it being ignored or wrongly diagnosed. This is one of the significant reasons why it is essential to have regular screenings for colorectal cancers, especially after the age of 50. Apart from regular screenings, it is important to not ignore any of the symptoms you face.
Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer:
Having a better understanding of the symptoms and signs can help you detect the disease early, which, in turn, will help you get it treated at the earliest. The most common symptoms are as below:
- Diarrhoea or constipation
- Blood in stool
- Weight loss with no known reasons
- Bloating, cramps, abdominal pain
- Fatigue and weakness
- Change in bowel movements
- Deficiency in iron; Anaemia
- Narrow stools
If colorectal cancer worsens and starts spreading to other organs, you might also experience vomiting, chronic headaches, breathing difficulties, etc. Based on the different symptoms and the stage at which the patient is, the treatment also differs.
Treatments Of Colorectal Cancer:
The most common and effective treatment methods are:
- Surgery: In colon cancer or rectal cancer, removal of polyps or cancerous lumps might be possible through a colonoscopy during the early stages. If a colonoscopy does not provide sufficient space for removing the polyp, laparoscopic surgery can be beneficial. Larger polyps may need parts of the colon removed through a procedure known as endoscopic mucosal resection. In the case of an advanced stage of rectal cancer, a surgery called an abdominoperineal resection (APR) is carried out where your rectum, anus, part of the colon, lymph nodes, and surrounding tissues are cut off.
- Chemotherapy: Specific drugs are advised to the patients to kill the cancerous cells. It ensures relief from cancer symptoms if it has started spreading to other organs. Chemotherapy is provided pre and post-surgery. After surgery, chemotherapy helps kill any lingering cancerous cells, and before surgery, chemotherapy helps shrink the tumour size for easy removal.
- Immuno-therapy: Immuno-therapy helps in activating the immune system with the help of drugs. These drugs help in stimulating the immune cells to recognise and target cancerous cells.
- Radiation therapy: Strong, powerful energy beams, similar to X-rays, destroy cancerous cells. Radiation therapy is commonly given alongside chemotherapy.
Colorectal cancer is, undoubtedly, a life-threatening disease. Looking out for symptoms and signs is very important as diagnosing the disease early increases the chances of treating cancer successfully. Another more reliable way to stay safe from colon cancer is to undergo a colonoscopy regularly. SMILES Hospital is India’s first integrated colo-rectal hospital and the best hospital in Bangalore for any gastroenterological problems. We offer the finest colorectal cancer treatment in Bangalore with the help of advanced modern equipment carried out by India’s leading colorectal surgeons.