Early-stage colon cancer is curable with surgery

Stage III needs surgery, followed by chemotherapy, which lasts for around six months.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the world.(iStock)
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the world.(iStock)
Updated on Mar 14, 2020 10:08 AM IST
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ByBy Dr.Jatin Sarin

The colorectum (large intestine) is a part of our digestive system, which takes up nutrients from food and water and stores solid waste (faeces) until it is excreted. Malignancy in any part of this organ is termed colorectal cancer (CRC) and spreads most often to the liver and sometimes to the lungs, bones, or other organs.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the world and 6th in India. Those who have a family history of colon cancer usually start experiencing symptoms at around the age of 25-35. It is recommended for people with a positive family history to go ahead with genetic testing after consulting an oncologist.

Dr.Jatin Sarin
Dr.Jatin Sarin

The common risk factors include advancing age, positive family history, inflammatory bowel disease, low -fiber diet, and consumption of excessive red meat, tobacco, and alcohol.

Early-stage colon cancer is curable with surgery alone. Stage III needs surgery, followed by chemotherapy, which lasts for around six months. Patients diagnosed with the disease at an advanced stage are treated with chemotherapy and targeted therapy.

Personalized medicines/targeted therapies have changed the way doctors treat stage IV colorectal cancer. These have helped improve the overall health of patients, recovery time, avoid unnecessary drug treatments, and save medical expenses. KRAS and NRAS are two major biomarker tests that are conducted on patients with stage IV or metastatic colorectal cancer, which can help predict which treatment will be more beneficial.

Colorectal cancer is curable even in 20% of stage IV cases, especially the ones with liver metastasis.

Know more about colorectal cancer here.

This article has been written by Dr.Jatin Sarin, MD,DM ( Oncology), Senior Medical Oncologist, Chandigarh Cancer & Diagnostic Center, Sector 33-D, Chandigarh.

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