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Colon Cancer

About the Department

The largest intestine in your body is the colon that forms the final part of your digestive tract. In the majority of colon cancer cases, it starts with tiny, benign cluster of cells known as adenomatous polyps. Covering the inner walls of the colon, the polyps contain an excessive number of normal and abnormal cells that appear on the glands. With the passage of time, the growths that are abnormally large degenerate to form adenocarcinomas. 

If one has a condition known as familial adenomatous polyposis syndrome where they have genetic abnormalities, then there are more chances of such people developing colon cancer. For such cases, multiple adenomatous polyps form in the colon leading to colon cancer. This form of colon cancer generally runs in the family and usually happens before the age of 40.

There is another type of colon cancer that is also hereditary in nature known as nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) syndrome. However, in this case the colon cancer develops in the absence of the precursor polyps.

If there is a first degree relative like a parent or a sibling who has colon cancer, then the chance increases by two to three times for immediate family members to also develop colon cancer. 

At Fortis Bannerghatta, we aim to bring together path-breaking research, technological advancements in medical procedures along with a team of highly skilled cancer specialists to comprehend your cancer diagnosis and treatment along with designing your subsequent need for home care. We do not believe that your suffering helps in our way of approaching patient care. Hence we use minimally invasive surgical procedures that can help remove the cancerous mass whilst still being able to preserve the surrounding tissue. 

Being diagnosed with colon cancer is a physical upheaval for you and an emotional turmoil for your family members. With our team of expert guidance counselors at Fortis, we will provide you and your family access to support groups, discuss possible ways of home care along with giving all the information that you need to know about your treatment plan. It is important to us that we streamline your health care by giving due emphasis on putting on an encouraging experience with Fortis, as well as providing support for you and your family members through the process of treatment. 

Areas of Care

Colon cancer can be hereditary. The most common forms of hereditary colon cancer are:

- Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC)
- Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)

However, there are other types which may start from the colon or the rectum. They are:

- Adenocarcinomas
- Carcinoid tumors
- Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs)
- Lymphomas
- Sarcomas

Our specialists at Fortis Bannerghatta make an individual risk assessment by including genetic testing and through a series of counselling sessions, taking both the patient and their family on board who may be at an increased risk of developing colon cancer. 

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Signs and Symptoms of Colon Cancers

There are no typical symptoms in the early stages of detecting colon cancer. However, as the tumour starts enlarging, and depending on the position of the initial tumour in the intestine, you may see one or more of these symptoms:

- If you find blood in your stool
- If you find signs of rectal bleeding
- If there are changes in your bowel habits, for example:

  • If you keep getting constipation or diarrhoea frequently
  • If there has been an alternation in the rate of recurrence, dimension and ability of bowel movements
  • If you find that your bowel is not completely emptying
  • If you find that the size of your stool is really narrow like a pencil

- If there is serious abdominal pain and bloating
- If you are suffering from frequent bouts of nausea and vomiting
- If you feel anaemic
- If there is subsequent weight loss in a short span of time
- If there is pelvic pain

Speak to your specialist at Fortis, if you have one or more of these signs or symptoms over a significant period of time. At Fortis, we will be able to guide you to the next stages of screening that is required to establish an accurate diagnosis for your condition. 

Our Diagnostic Services

To formulate the right treatment plan begins with an accurate diagnosis. At Fortis, Bannerghatta, we only use the most advanced and modern techniques and tools that will help us to conclude the existence of a colorectal malignancy. Taking a hands-on methodology towards cancer screening and testing, we aim to diagnose the condition at the earlier stages where the chances of the treatment being a success is far more possible. 

Your specialist may prescribe the following diagnostic tests:

- Colonoscopy:

During this procedure, a thin tube that has a light is inserted into the colon and the rectum. Having a camera attached to the tube, it can check for polyps or any abnormal areas of cancer. 

- Virtual Colonoscopy:

This diagnostic test uses x-rays and with the help of computers generates 3-D images of the rectum and displays it on the computer screen. 

- Ultrasound:

This may include both endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) and 3-D transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) with the help of which the depth of the cancer may be evaluated. It can also additionally capture images and take tissue samples. 

- Probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy (pCLE):

Using this diagnostic screening, it can correctly view tissue cells in the digestive tract at the cellular level. With the assistance of one of smallest microscopes’ in the world today, the doctor is able to remove the cancerous tissue with this process. 

Post reviewing the results of the first round of diagnostic screening, your specialist may recommend secondary diagnostic screenings for further verification. These may include:

  • CT Scan
  • MRI
  • PET Scan
  • Biopsy

At Fortis, we can imagine going through these diagnostic tests can be frightening. It is our objective to make our patients and their families aware of the effects of colon cancer and how they can play a proactive role in patient care. If you do have questions during any of these diagnostic screenings, then do not hesitate to discuss your concerns with your specialist at Fortis.

Treatment Options

Your stage of colon cancer will largely determine the treatment plan. However, the three primary options for treatment are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

- If your colon cancer is in the early stages, then surgery will include:

  • Doing a colonoscopy to remove the 
  • Endoscopic mucosal resection
  • Using surgery that is minimally invasive 

- If the cancer has spread, then surgery for invasive colon cancer will include:

  • Partial colectomy
  • Creating a way for the waste to leave the body through a surgical procedure 
  • Removing the Lymph node

- Other forms of treatment may include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Targeted drug therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Supportive care

Being diagnosed with colon cancer can be a challenging experience for you and your family. At Fortis, we will sit through a series of discussions and help you come to terms with how to handle your current health condition. By imbibing the lifestyle care that we recommend, certainly will make a difference in your path to a speedy recovery.

Our Team That Cares

At Fortis, Bannerghatta, our team of colon cancer specialists in consultation with urologists, pathologists, and radiologists will chalk out the best course of treatment keeping in mind how far the cancer has advanced. We will also take into account your overall medical history and lifestyle aspects as these are key factors in determining your plan of therapy. Whilst treatment may vary from patient to patient, we only have a singular goal in mind. Depending on your unique needs, we will treat your colon cancer successfully but minimise any risk to the quality of your life.