Symptoms Of Colon Cancer
Symptoms Of Colon Cancer Colorectal cancer often causes discomfort only in more advanced stages. The following symptoms may be signs of colorectal cancer:
- Change of the chair habits with a change between diarrhea and constipation
- Blood stains in the stool
- stomach pain
- Decrease in physical performance
- Unwanted decrease in body weight
- Acute intestinal obstruction: This is an emergency requiring immediate surgery.
In the case of diagnostics, the question is first of all whether or not a disease is actually present in colorectal cancer. If the suspicion is confirmed, further investigations are made to clarify how far the disease has spread and what therapies should be initiated.
Confirmation or exclusion of a rectal carcinoma
In many cases, colon cancer is diagnosed as part of colorectal cancer screening. Reflection (colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, rectoscopy) is the only method which provides a reliable result. It is also recommended when certain cases of suspicion of a malignant bowel tumor occur.
• Anamnesis and physical examination
In the case of an interview with the patient, the doctor first clarifies whether, and if so, which current complaints exist. He would also like to know the serious illnesses the patient had in previous history and whether cancer, including colorectal cancer, had occurred in the family. He then performs a general physical examination.
• Colonoscopy (colonoscopy)
If the patient reports about ailments related to colorectal cancer, colonoscopy is recommended to make a “picture” of the intestine. Often the colonoscopy is just part of the early detection screen without complaints.
In colonoscopy, the entire colon is visually examined. The intestine should be emptied as far as possible so that the physician has a clear view of the mucous membrane. It is therefore recommended to do without a heavy diet one week before the examination. For the day before the mirroring is usually recommended a laxative. An enema just before the examination must be performed only if the intestine has not yet been completely emptied. If desired, the patient may be given a calming agent prior to refolding.
The examination itself is carried out with the help of a coloscope: A thin, flexible tube, which is inserted into the anus and gradually advanced into the intestine. At its top is a small camera, which delivers images from the intestine to a monitor. With a small loop or forceps, which is also located at the tip of the tube, the doctor can take samples from suspicious areas of the mucous membrane (biopsy) in order to have them examined microscopically for malignant changes. Furthermore, it is thus possible to remove suspicious mucous membrane regions such as adenomas.
• Alternative to large mirroring: sigmoidoscopy or rectoscopy
If the colonoscopy can not be carried out – for different reasons of health and other reasons – and the suspicion that the rectum may be diseased, less extensive colonoscopy is possible: Sigmoidoscopy (small colonoscopy), in which the last 30 to 40 centimeters Intestine, that is, the sigmoid and the rectum, and the rectoscopy, in which only the rectum is examined with a rigid mirror. In these two examinations, too, the physician can remove tissue samples from suspicious areas (biopsies) and remove adenomas.
After tumor confirmation: Measurement of the spread for therapy planning
If a rectal carcinoma is diagnosed, the degree of spread and the tumor stage must be determined in order to initiate the optimal therapy. The so-called endosonography is an ultrasound method in which the ultrasound head is inserted into the intestine so that the intestinal wall can be sounded from the inside. This allows the stage of colon cancer to be identified with high certainty. Other imaging techniques that can be used to determine the spread of colorectal cancer include CT and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the pelvis and abdomen, as well as ultrasound examination of the abdomen. If there is a suspicion that cancer in women might have spread to the uterus or vagina, gynecological examination is recommended. In addition, a radiograph of the lung should be prepared.