A private colonoscopy is often suggested for people aged 45 and above who exhibit the symptoms. While colorectal cancer is uncommon in young people, there are exceptions such as those having a family history of colon cancer. Unfortunately, colon cancer can be life-threatening if not diagnosed timely and given proper medical attention.
Despite being a severe medical condition, its fatality rate has decreased significantly over the years due to medical advances and effective treatment of colorectal cancer Montreal. The quick diagnoses and treatment options have alerted people to be more health conscious and opt for screening in case of visible symptoms.
What is colorectal cancer?
Colorectal cancer is another term for colon cancer that combines the presence of cancer in the colon and rectal regions. It is a type of cancer that originates in the large intestine i.e. colon. The colon is the final part of the digestive system that carries food from your digestive tract to the rectum and finally out of the body.
Typically, colon cancer develops from the formation of polyps or certain growths in the colon’s inner lining. While these are not cancerous in the initial stage, they can certainly transform into cancer over time. Since these precancerous cells are small and do not produce visible symptoms until much later, doctors often suggest regular screening tests like private colonoscopy to identify polyps and remove them before they turn into cancer.
The formation of polyps or precancerous cells in the colon region can be severe and demand extensive medical treatments. If neglected, cancer can spread to other parts of the body. Hence, it’s always advisable to opt for early screenings and treatments to minimize the impact of cancer.
What causes colorectal cancer?
Much like any cancer, colorectal cancer is caused when the body cells in a particular region start growing and dividing uncontrollably. While cell division and growth are essential for a healthy body, in the case of cancer, the cells continue to grow and divide even when they are supposed to die.
According to medical research, the abnormal growth of cells is often due to the damaged DNAs of the cells, making them grow and form a tumor. What makes these cancerous cells deadly is their ability to destroy the surrounding body tissues and even affect other parts of the body.
Some of the very common causes of colorectal cancer that may require you to go for a private colonoscopy screening are listed as follows:
- Old age
- Family history of colorectal cancer
- Inflammatory colon disorders
- Genetic formation
- Unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking, etc.
- Obesity, poor diet
- A sedentary lifestyle
Symptoms of colorectal cancer
The worst part about colorectal cancer is that people may not experience symptoms even in the last stages. Even if there are certain symptoms, they do not necessarily have to mean the presence of cancerous cells in the body. Some very common symptoms that may suggest medical screening are:
- Noticeable blood on or in stool
- Serious constipation issues
- Sudden weight loss with no viable reason
- Fatigue and shortness of breath
- Stomach bloating
- Belly ache
Treatments for colorectal cancer
When the presence of precancerous or cancer cells is identified, surgery is the most viable option for the treatment of colorectal cancer Montreal. Once the medical screening and diagnosis are done, the following are some of the most common surgeries and procedures performed:
- Polypectomy – This involves the removal of polyps or cancerous cells from the body.
- Radiofrequency ablation – This process involves the usage of heat to destroy cancerous cells.
- Chemotherapy – This is another advanced process wherein the doctors make use of chemotherapy drugs to remove the polyps while easing the symptoms.
- Targeted therapy – As the name suggests, this treatment targets the genes and tissues in the body that help the cancer cells to grow and mutate.
- Partial colectomy – Also known as colon resection surgery, this procedure involves the removal of a section of the colon area that contains cancerous cells and some adjoining tissues. A healthy colon section is later reconnected through a process called anastomosis.
While one cannot prevent colon cancer, the chances of developing colorectal cancer can be minimized by managing certain lifestyle habits such as:
- Avoid consuming tobacco
- Moderate consumption of alcohol
- Don’t be too under or overweight
- Track your family’s medical history
- Eat healthily & avoid excessive junk foods
- Exercise regularly
Most important of all is following the colon cancer screening guidelines and consulting your doctor on noticing any of the above-discussed symptoms. Your healthcare provider is likely to recommend a private colonoscopy even before you are aged 45 if you exhibit symptoms or have had a family history of colon cancer.
Besides the surgery options, there are medications that are also recommended for patients with higher risks of developing colon cancer or who are in the precancer phase.