A study about cancer trends in Australia says that the number of cancer patients would rise up to 1,50,000 by 2020. The study revealed that by the age of 85, one in three persons will be diagnosed with cancer.
The most widespread cancers in Australia are skin cancer, colorectal or bowel cancer, prostate gland cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer. Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer and people falling in the age group of 50 to 80 usually get affected by this.
What is colorectal cancer?
Colon or colorectal or bowel cancer is the abnormal growth of cancer cells in the large intestine.If is not properly treated it can spread to other parts of body causing serious threat to life.
Why do you get colorectal cancer?
Age: As you get aged your body grows weak. Colorectal cancer is common among elderly folks.
Wrong habits: The habits of consuming alcohol and smoking can get you bowel cancer.
Wrong diet: Following diets with high animal protein (red meat), saturated fat, high calories and low fiber can be one among the cause.
Hereditary: It can be hereditary as well. If anyone in your family has colorectal cancer there is a chance that you may have it in future.
Lack of exercise: An inactive body is a powerhouse of diseases. Such people can even get bowel cancer. Obesity is also noticed as cause for bowel cancer.
Stages of Colorectal Cancer
If cancer is confirmed then the stage of cancer need to be evaluated in order to start the treatment. It is measured using the TNM system.
T refers to the measure of tumour growth, L refers to measure of growth to lymph nodes and M or Metastasis measures if cancer is spread to other parts of the body.
Stage 1: Primary tumour (T)
TX: The main tumor cannot be diagnosed.
T0: Tumor is found but cancer is not detected.
Tis : This means that the cancer is in the earliest stage, and it has not grown beyond the top layers of lining of the colon or rectum.
T1: The tumor has grown through the lining (muscular is mucosa) of the colon or rectum.
T2: The tumor has expanded through the second layer of lining (submucosa) of the colon or rectum and into the outer layer (muscularis propria).
T3: The cancer has grown through the muscularis propria and into the outer layers of the colon or rectum, but not spread to any nearby organs or tissue.
T4: The cancer has grown all the way through the wall of the colon or rectum, and has expanded to the surface of nearby organs. In an advanced stage of T4 it will affect tissue or organs closer to it.
Stage 2: Regional lymph nodes (N)
N0: The cancer has not spread into any of the the lymph nodes.
N1: The cancer has spread to one to three regional lymph nodes.
N2: The cancer has spread to four to seven regional lymph nodes.
Stage 3: Distant metastasis (M)
M0: The cancer has not spread to distant organs.
M1: The cancer has spread to to one or more distant organs.
Treatment and Cure
The main cure for colorectal cancer is through a surgery. Mostly part of the bowel where the cancer is present will be separated.Sometimes the lymph glands surrounding this part of bowel will be removed. After this, ends of the bowel will be re-joined together but in a few cases, patients may be asked to carry a stoma bag. After surgery, chemotherapy will be done if required.
Patients with rectal cancer may require radiotherapy which involves powerful x-rays or other types of radiation in order to kill cancer cells.
Living with Colon Cancer
Each year fifteen thousand people are diagnosed colon cancer in Australia. So understand that you are not lonely in this onerous path! Join communities and share your experiences. This will make you strong and will give you zeal to fight back this deadly disease!