Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer

colo-rectal cancer polyps or Colorectal

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Colorectal cancer is the combination of colon and rectal cancer. If you have colon cancer or rectal cancer it can also be called colorectal cancer. As with most common cancers, the problem occurs when cells in the colon or rectum become abnormal and begin to grow rampantly. Cells of this nature become tumors which is the beginning of cancer.

Signs of Colorectal Cancer

Early diagnosis of colorectal cancer will make a big difference in the treatment and successful recovery of this disease. Once you experience any of the following symptoms, make sure you see your physician immediately to determine if you have colorectal cancer.

  • If you find blood in your stool this could mean you may have a precancerous polyp in your colon. You can have your stool checked out for blood that may not be visible to the naked eye.
  • If your bowel habits change this could be a sign of problems. You could have colorectal cancer if you’ve been constipated or had diarrhea for a period of time and it won’t go away.
  • Abnormally shaped or colored stools are a sign that should be dealt with.
  • Rectal bleeding and the feeling that you just can’t completely empty your bowel should not be taken lightly.
  • In addition to any of the above symptoms, weakness, fatigue, cramps in the abdomen, and unexplained weight loss should also be addressed.

Treatment Options

Once you have been diagnosed as having colorectal cancer you have several treatment options available to you.

  • Surgical procedures can include removing the cancerous tumors from the rectum or colon and putting the healthy parts back together.
  • Removal of any cancerous cells that may have spread to the liver is another option. Your surgeon can safely remove about half of your liver to remove larger tumors.
  • Chemotherapy is generally effective when the cancer has moved to other parts of the body. Surgery is not as effective at this point so chemo can possibly shrink the tumors.
  • Radiation can be a successful alternative but the side effects are what many people are afraid of.  Nausea, fatigue, and hair loss are generally common after radiation and chemotherapy.
  • Biological therapy work in the opposite way as some of the other treatments. Instead of working to kill off cancerous cells at the risk of your general health, specific drugs are administered to build your immune system. Building up your body to ward off the cancer may be easier for some people to handle.