Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the colon or rectum, which are both parts of the large intestine. This type of cancer is also known as colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where it starts.
As a cancer specialist in Pune and a cancer surgeon in Pune, Dr. Ashish Pokharkar has extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for colorectal cancer.
Causes of Colorectal Cancer
The exact cause of colorectal cancer is not known, but several risk factors have been identified. These include:
- Age: The risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with age, with most cases occurring in people over 50 years old.
- Family history: People with a family history of colorectal cancer are at a higher risk of developing the disease.
- Personal history: People who have previously had colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps in the colon are at a higher risk of developing the disease.
- Inflammatory bowel disease: People with inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, are at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.
- Lifestyle factors: Factors such as a diet high in red or processed meat, smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, and lack of physical activity have been linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer
In its early stages, colorectal cancer may not cause any symptoms. However, as the cancer grows, it can cause a range of symptoms, including:
- Changes in bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation
- Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Fatigue or weakness
- Unintentional weight loss
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor for an evaluation.
Diagnosis of Colorectal Cancer
The diagnosis of colorectal cancer typically involves several tests, including:
- Physical examination: Your doctor will perform a physical exam to check for any abnormalities in your abdomen or rectum.
- Colonoscopy: A colonoscopy is a procedure in which a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end is inserted into the rectum to examine the colon and rectum for any abnormalities.
- Biopsy: If an abnormality is found during a colonoscopy, a tissue sample will be taken for further examination under a microscope.
- Imaging tests: Imaging tests, such as CT scans or MRIs, may be used to determine the extent of the cancer and whether it has spread to other parts of the body.
Treatment of Colorectal Cancer
The treatment of colorectal cancer depends on several factors, including the stage of the cancer, the location of the cancer, and the patient’s overall health. Treatment options may include:
- Surgery: Surgery is typically the first-line treatment for colorectal cancer. The goal of surgery is to remove the cancerous tissue from the colon or rectum.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a type of treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It may be used before or after surgery, depending on the stage of the cancer.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams of radiation to kill cancer cells. It may be used in combination with surgery or chemotherapy.
- Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy is a type of treatment that uses drugs to target specific proteins or genes that contribute to the growth of cancer cells.
In Conclusion, cancer is a complex and challenging disease that requires specialized care and treatment. As a cancer specialist in Pune, Dr. Ashish Pokharkar and his team work tirelessly to provide personalized, comprehensive cancer care to their patients. By staying up-to-date with the latest research and treatment options, they can offer the most effective and innovative treatments to their patients. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, it’s essential to seek out expert care and treatment from a qualified cancer specialist in Pune.