Cancer is the name for a disease that can affect cells from all the organs and body's structures and is considered to be life threatening. The colon and rectum are a part of the large intestine and their function is to absorb nutrients and water from the food that passes through the intestine before it goes out of the body. Colorectal cancer is the disease that affects the cells from the colon and rectum creating a malign or benign tumor.
Treatment is possible for those who suffer from colon cancer. The treatment is based of three procedures: surgery, using radiations, and chemotherapy.
Generally the colon cancer is treated with surgery and this depends on the stage of the cancer. If the cancer is in an early stage then the doctor will take the tumor out by putting a tube that passes the rectum until it reaches the colon and only then cutting the tumor. This means that the doctor performs a local excision when the cancer is localized on a polyp than the procedure will be classified as a polypectomy. If the cancer is in a more advanced stage the doctor will have to cut that tumor out along with a part of the healthy colon. Then the two parts of healthy colon will be sewed together. The lymph nodes around the affected area will also be removed and analyzed at the microscope.
Sometimes the doctor can not sew the two heads of the colon and will be forced to make a hole on the surface of the body in order to create another anus, also known as a colostomy. This second anus will not be kept ever, it will be kept until the colon heals and can be sewed back. Sometimes if the situation is bad and the colon can not be saved, this colostomy will be permanent. The patient will further need a special bag made for collecting the body wastes. These bags are only for one use and are not able to be seen due to clothing and are easy to replace even by the patient.
Another procedure to treat cancer is radiotherapy. This therapy uses x-rays for killing cancer cells and making the tumor stop its evolution and even shrink. Radiation therapy can be performed by special machines located near the body and by special tubes that contain radioactive material and are placed inside the body near the intestines. The radiation therapy can be combined with surgery and other procedures for treating cancer.
Chemotherapy is also used in treating cancer. Chemotherapy uses pills or substances that go by vein in the organism. As these drugs travel the blood stream and can kill cancerous cell all over the body the chemotherapy is known to as a systemic therapy. Chemotherapy can be associated with surgery. While the surgeon removes the tumors that can be seen with a naked eye, chemotherapy destroys those small cells that the surgeon can not remove.
Also, biological therapy can be used as it increases the forces of the organism to fight cancer and will help the body increase its defenses.