Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Treatment for Colon Cancer

Colon Cancer is among the most common cancers affecting humans. Although adequate checks and regular visits to the doctor have reduced the risk of Colon cancer, it is still highly common and poses a risk for both men and women.

There are 5 stages of Colon cancer and therefore the treatment for Colon cancer varies for each stage. These stages progress from Stage 0, which is the very initial stage. Stages 1, 2 and 3 describe increased deterioration and stage 4 describes the final stage of Colon cancer, where it has spread into multiple areas.

The general treatments for colon cancer include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Stage 0 Colon cancer can be removed by simple colonoscopy which does not involve any serious risk to the patient’s health. Stages 1, 2 and 3 however, require more invasive surgery. For stages 2 and above, chemotherapy is required as a subsidiary to surgery. Chemotherapy can be conducted with either just one drug or a combination of drugs. Stage 4, which is the last stage for the cancer, can also be treated although the chances of success are significantly lower. The most common ways of treating this stage are:

Burning the Colon Cancer,
Cutting out the Cancer, although this may not prove too easy since at stage 4, the cancer spreads to other organs as well.
Delivering radiation and chemotherapy directly into the organ
Freezing the cancer (cryotherapy).
It is important to keep in mind that both chemotherapy and radiation treatment involve a significant risk of side effects. Chemotherapy affects all parts of the body and since it serves the purpose of inhibiting the division of cells, it scars all fast growing cells of the body including hair, taste buds and bone marrow. Thus, treatment for Colon Cancer can leave a person bald, without the ability to taste and increasingly susceptible to diseases due to an ineffective immune system. Radiation treatment also has significant side effects which range from nausea to loss of control over the faculties of the body.

Although there have been significant advances in the treatment for Colon Cancer, it still poses serious risk. The best method of prevention is to have regular check ups so that any incidence can be caught in time without causing serious damage.

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