Colon cancer is a malignant tumor that is localized in the colon.
Colon cancer is usually detected in middle-aged and older people, although it can occur at any age. Often, the precursor to cancer is small, benign clusters of cells called polyps that form inside the colon. Over time, some of these polyps can develop into a malignant tumor.
Polyps and tumors of the colon in the early stages are often completely asymptomatic. For this reason, doctors recommend regular examinations to detect polyps before they turn into cancer.
WHAT SYMPTOMS CAN BE SIGNS OF COLON CANCER?
It is necessary to pay attention to the change in the nature of the stool and the work of the intestine. For example:
- the appearance of constipation or diarrhea
- blood in the stool
- increased gas formation
- abdominal pain or discomfort
as well as weakness, fatigue and weight loss can be signs of malignant colon formation.
However, many patients diagnosed with colon cancer do not experience any symptoms in the early stages of the disease!
WHEN SHOULD I SEE A DOCTOR?
If you notice any of the above symptoms, you should contact your doctor IMMEDIATELY.
Even if you are not worried about anything, you should discuss with your doctor the time of the screening examination in order to detect colon cancer earlier. Most international recommendations consider it necessary to start screening for colon cancer (colonoscopy).) at the age of 45-50 years. Your doctor may recommend an earlier checkup if you have any cancer risk factors.
WHAT IS THE STAGE OF COLON CANCER?
To determine the prevalence of the process and the tactics of further treatment of patients with colon cancer, it is necessary to determine the stage of cancer.
Stage I-the tumor has grown into the second and third layers of the intestinal wall, while there are no tumor cells in the neighboring lymph nodes and organs.
Stage II-the tumor has sprouted the fourth layer of the colon wall and / or has gone beyond it, but the lymph nodes and other organs are not affected by tumor cells.
Stage III-the tumor has sprouted all layers of the intestinal wall, there are regional lymph nodes affected by tumor cells, but there are no lesions of other organs.
Stage IV-tumor cells spread through the blood, lymphatic vessels, or through contact throughout the body, and there were dropouts in various organs (liver, lungs, etc.).
WHAT EXAMINATIONS SHOULD BE PERFORMED WHEN DETECTING COLON CANCER AND PLANNING TREATMENT?
For each patient, the doctor makes an individual treatment plan.
First, a general medical examination is performed, and anamnesis is collected. Then the patient is sent for instrumental studies.
Colonoscopy allows you to examine the entire colon from the mucosa, assess the presence and localization of polyps, tumors, and take a small piece of tissue for a biopsy (examination of cells under a microscope).
Computed tomography (CT)) allows you to get images (snapshots) of internal organs. On them, you can see the localization of the tumor, its spread relative to the intestinal wall, the state of the lymph nodes and the presence of damage to the target organs.
Position-emission tomography (PET CT)) for colon cancer, it is used quite rarely. This study can be sent in several cases: to determine the size of the tumor in the presence of metastases; to detect metastases in other organs; if you can not enter contrast for CT.
Determination of tumor markers. Each patient's tumor has its own unique characteristics, just as its DNA is unique. This explains why a treatment that helps one patient may not be of any benefit to another. These include the definition of MSI, KRAS, NRAS, and BRAF mutations.
The Loginov Moscow Medical Research Center has the latest methods of diagnosis and treatment. Based on the results of the examination and assessment of the patient's health, an oncological consultation is held consisting of doctors of various specialties, which determines an individual treatment plan.
TREATMENT OF COLON CANCER
Minimally invasive surgery. Laparoscopic technologies are widely used in colon surgery. Special tools and a camera are inserted through small punctures into the abdominal cavity and allow the surgeon to remove the tumor without making large incisions.
Robotic surgery. During the robot-assisted operation, the surgeon sits at the console and uses the controls of high-tech surgical instruments. In our Center, the use of robotics demonstrates excellent results (both oncological and functional) in the surgical treatment of colon tumors.
In our Center, more than 75% of interventions on the colon and rectum are performed by mini-invasive access (laparoscopically and using the Da Vinci robot), laparoscopic access.
Adjuvant therapy (chemotherapy after surgery). It is used for certain indications to reduce the risk of returning the disease or if it is necessary to treat secondary foci (metastases). Oncologists of the Loginov Moscow Research Center use modern treatment schemes and algorithms to optimize the effectiveness of adjuvant therapy and minimize side effects. All treatment is carried out according to global programs and protocols.
The quality of care provided and our attention to detail has a positive impact not only on the effectiveness of treatment, but also on the emotional background of the patient, as evidenced by the positive feedback from our patients.
Do not delay your visit to the specialists of our Center. This will help to diagnose the disease in a timely manner and choose the right treatment tactics. Doctors of the Department of Coloproctology of the Moscow State Medical Center named after A. S. Loginov are always ready to help you.