Colon cancer together with breast and cervical cancer is deliberated to be one of the ‘big three’ cancers. The colon is basically a ‘tube’ at the bottom of our digestive tract which stores waste before it expulsion. The end of the colon is known as the ‘rectum’ and the complete tubular structure is the large intestine. This whole system is taken into account when we discuss about colon cancer.
Symptoms related to colon cancer:
As a matter of fact, there no firm symptoms that can be used to diagnose colon cancer, but instead there are a mass of conditions that may indicate there is something wrong. So if you have a doubt, it is good to see your physician.
- If the cancer is in juxtaposition to the anus: diarrhoea, constipation, tenesmus (painful and frequent need to empty the bowels), narrowing of stool, and presence of blood or mucus in stools.
- If in case the cancer is located further up: melena, or black stool is a commonly reported symptom.
- Large colon cancer tumours may bar the passing of feces and show up as constipation, abdominal pain, or distension. At times, vomiting may also occur.
- Anemia, weight loss and a loss of appetite are among few symptoms.
- Genetics: If cancer is in family history, with a large number of close ones suffering or an unusually young age to develop cancer, this may result into high risk of cancer.
Other conditions include familial adenomatous polyposis which result into colon cancer.
- Age: The possibilities of developing colon cancer in an individual is at 60s, and hence frequent check-ups after this age is mandatory.
- Smoking and drinking causes high risk.
- Intake of meat in large amount with small amount of fibre puts us at greater risk.
- Sedentary individuals also face higher risk.
- Other conditions associated with colon cancer include lowered selenium levels, a history of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
Tests for colon cancer:
- Barium enema x-ray: As the name goes an enema is administered and the barium contained within is able to depict tumours or polyps in the form of dark shadows on x-rays.
- Colonoscopy: It is among the most commonly used test. A tube with video capabilities is placed in the intestinal tract to identify polyps. If in case any polyps are discovered tests are conducted to see if they are colon cancer, based on the results of following biopsies. Biopsies need small tissue samples from the patient. If the cancer is confirmed, the polyp has already been eliminated, but tests need to be conducted in order to search for metastasis if any. Basically the liver, lungs and the abdomen as specifically important.
The colon cancer tumour, some of the adjacent tissue and adjoining lymph nodes are eliminated. After the removal, the cavity in the intestine is restored. If the tumour is present in the rectum, the entire rectum has to be removed. In such a scenario, a colostomy will be conducted, to ease the excreta to leave the body via an opening in the abdomen called as a stoma. Special post-operative servicers are offered to aid patients get used to their alteration. Metastasis of the colon cancer to other body organs decides the survival possibilities of the patient following surgery.
Medications directed after colon cancer surgery, generally about 5 weeks later, in order to kill microscopic cancer cells that are hard to detect. While the medications also terminate a large amount of blood cells resulting in weakness and a reduced immune system. Hence, the course is provided multiple sessions with periods of rest to allow for recovery. Hence, the medications are prescribed to permeate the body to damage any of these outstanding cancer cells. Chemotherapy is known to statistically enhanced survival rates and congruently decreased number of tumour recurrences.
It may be prescribed before or after surgery, and its usage has been enumerated to the cancer of the rectum. Colon cancer is considered as deadly and can be extremely painful and discomforting. By scheduling a healthy diet and having constant check-ups, we can greatly lessen our chances of the disease.
The ayurvedic treatment of colon cancer is intended at treating the main cancer, preventing or thereby reducing its spread to other body parts and enhancing overall survival. Medicines used to treat this condition are: Arogya-Vardhini, Kanchnaar-Guggulu, Yograj-Guggulu, Triphala-Guggulu, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Mahamanjishthadi-Qadha, Panchamrut-Parpati and Saarivasav.
Ayurvedic treatment is proficient enough to reduce the tumour size, prevent or lessen the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy, enhance the immune status of the body and elongate survival.