Colorectal cancer is the most common cancer in males and third in females. It is a disease that takes longer to manifest itself. There are several risk factors for the disease, including meat consumption behavior rather than fruits and vegetables, defecation, blood mucus, constipation alternating with diarrhea, people with a family history of colorectal cancer, or seniors over the age of 50.
The disease is usually formed by the presence of polyps in the colon. It takes an average of 5 years to develop to a larger size before becoming cancerous. It was found that polyps larger than 1 cm in size have a higher risk of cancer.
Today there are modern tools. These polyps can be detected in the elderly colon with a 64-slide high-speed computed tomography. It has a detailed and efficient processing system. Can be rotated in all directions X-ray machines take the resulting data into two-dimensional images of multiple planes and three-dimensional images from multiple perspectives, Which the resulting image will be virtual Close to traditional colonoscopy. A polyp of 1 cm or more can be detected as well as an endoscopic examination.
In addition to detecting a lump in the colon, it can also check for other anomalies Outside the colon to find the spread of cancer in different stages as well. By this examination, the patient will be prepared before the examination by eating soft foods without fiber for 1-2 days before the examination with laxatives and iodine-containing radiation opaque substances to make the polyps can be seen more clearly and increased the accuracy of the test.
Colon cancer screening with a computerized X-ray machine is a good, modern, comfortable screening method that does not require deep tools. No need for anesthesia to spend less time checking. In addition, it is an appropriate choice for elderly patients who are unable to have total colonoscopy or endoscopy and cannot be tested throughout the colon. Including patients at high risk of endoscopic complications such as the elderly.
Those who have anticoagulants Those who are at risk of anesthesia and those who have no history of endoscopy throughout the colon.
The colon is divided into two main parts: the colon in the abdomen or colons and the large intestine in the pelvis or rectum. Cancer can occur with every part of the colon. Both parts of the colon cancer have some different disease characteristics and treatment methods, but the causes, diagnosis, and stage of the disease are similar.
Colon cancer has a higher incidence in people 60 and older, but it can be found at any age, it is less common in males under 40, the incidence in males is higher than in females.
Causes of colorectal cancer.
There are currently no studies that have clearly concluded what causes colon cancer. Factors that may be related or risk factors for colorectal cancer include:
- Heredity, both inherited and non-inherited genes Which cause inflammation of the colon or the formation of a polyp of the colon
- Foods, Some studies have shown that eating a diet high in fat or a diet deficient in fiber increases the risk of colon cancer.
- Some studies have shown that nutritional deficiencies may be a factor in the risk of colon cancer more than fully nutritional patients.
- Eating fruits and vegetables reduces the risk factors of colon cancer compared to other groups.
- Adequate weight control and exercise may reduce risk factors for colon cancer.
- Binge or beer It can be a risk factor for colon cancer.
- Smoking can also be a risk factor for colon cancer.
Signs and symptoms of colon cancer in the elderly
There are no specific symptoms of colon cancer. But will be the same as symptoms of common bowel disease such as:
- Feces are bloody, fresh, or black, like charcoal.
- Constipation and diarrhea like never before.
- May feel a lump in the stomach.
- There may be nausea, vomiting, weakness, or pale without knowing why.
- Pain during defecation.
- Severe abdominal pain
So if you have these symptoms You should consult a doctor immediately.
Colon cancer diagnosis and stage detection
- History and physical examination accompanying signs and symptoms of the patient, including a rectal examination.
- Examination of laboratory urine test.
- X-ray imaging may be taken with rectal powder enema.
- Rectal endoscopy and biopsy for pathological examination. To look for cancer.
To detect the stage of the disease, the doctor may perform additional tests. However, according to medical indications, the same tests are not required for all patients, for example:
- Laboratory blood tests to look at the function of the liver, kidneys or diabetes, etc.
- An imaging scan of the bone. If the patient has a lot of back pain To check whether the disease has spread to the bone or not.
- Abdominal examination using CT-Scan.
- Lung X-ray examination.
- Liver ultrasound examination if the disease is suspected to spread the liver.
The stage of colon cancer
Colon cancer is divided into 4 stages:
Stage 1: cancer is still in the lining of the intestine.
Stage 2: Cancer penetrates into the muscular layer of the intestine and, or through the intestinal membrane, invades nearby tissues or organs.
Stage 3: Cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
Stage 4: Cancer has invaded distant lymph nodes. Or spread through the bloodstream to distant organs such as the liver, lungs or bones, etc.
The severity of colon cancer depends on many things. Important factors include
- The higher the stage, the more severe the disease.
- Physical condition and other joint diseases. This affects the health of patients such as diabetes, kidney disease, etc. Therefore, the patient should maintain a healthy condition and control other diseases.
- Age of young patients, often come to see a doctor when the disease is more advanced because rarely think of cancer. Elderly patients often have an unhealthy physical condition. Make it an obstacle to treatment
- The size of the tumor. The larger the size, the more severe the disease is in patients whose cancer is smaller.
- Cancer has spread to nearby organs. The severity of the disease is greater than the absence of the progression of the disease.
Colon cancer treatment methods in the elderly.
Colon cancer treatment includes three main methods: surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy.
The main treatment for colon cancer is surgery to remove the diseased part of the intestine and the lymph nodes. Sometimes if the cancer is very advanced or cancer of the colon adjacent to the anus. Surgery may be necessary to make an artificial fistula. Remove the remaining end of the intestine open through the abdomen to allow the stool to escape.
It is a combination of treatment with surgery. Maybe irradiated before or after surgery depending on the medical indication on a case-by-case basis, your doctor will assess the nature of cancer’s spread and the likelihood of spreading it to the lymph nodes.
Generally, radiotherapy usually lasts for 5-6 weeks, with one radiotherapy per day and five consecutive days a week.
It is a chemical medicine. This may be given before surgery and or after surgery, in combination with radiotherapy or not. The use of chemotherapy is based on medical indication and is not required for all patients. The doctor will consider it on a case by case basis.
After completing the treatment process The doctor will also make regular appointments for patient examinations. In the first year, the examination may be scheduled every 1-2 months. After treatment for 2-3 years, the examination may be scheduled every 2-3 months. After 3-5 years, the examination may be performed every 3-6 months, and if more than 5 years may Examination appointments every 6-12 months
In every appointment, The doctor will take a history and do a physical exam.
Additional tests, such as blood tests or X-rays, will be performed on an individual basis. Not the same Patients should be examined on a regular basis and should be brought along with a relative or a caregiver. In order to join in consultation for proper care of the patient.