Pune (Maharashtra) [India], December 6: Colon cancer, often referred to as the "masked killer," lurks unnoticed in the shadows, wreaking havoc on countless lives worldwide. According to WHO, Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide, accounting for approximately 10% of all cancer cases and is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. This insidious disease is characterised by its cunning ability to hide its symptoms in its early stages, making it challenging to detect and treat effectively. It arises from the growth of abnormal cells in the colon or rectum, the lower parts of the digestive system. Though the disease can strike at any age, it predominantly affects those above 50 years, making age a significant risk factor. Individuals with a family history of colon cancer and certain genetic conditions are also at a higher risk.
Regular screenings are vital in the fight against colon cancer. Colonoscopies and stool tests can identify pre-cancerous growths or early-stage tumours, significantly increasing the chances of successful treatment. Early detection can mean the difference between life and death, making these screenings an essential aspect of preventive healthcare.
Dr Snita Sinukumar, Consultant Oncologist at Jehangir Hospital says, "Colon cancer can often manifest insidiously with symptoms such as blood in stools or constipation. These symptoms are frequently misdiagnosed as haemorrhoids (piles). It is crucial to be vigilant when these signs occur in the elderly population. Recognizing the potential for colon cancer and conducting timely endoscopy tests and biopsies are essential for early detection and effective treatment. Therefore, efforts should be made to prevent misdiagnosis."
Treatment At Jehangir Hospital
Treatment for colon cancer is dependent on the disease's stage. In the case of early-stage colon cancer, the primary course of action is typically surgical intervention. Jehangir Hospital offers both Laparoscopic and Open surgical procedures, allowing to choose the most appropriate approach for each patient's unique circumstances.
For advanced stages of colorectal cancer, a combination of treatment options, including targeted chemotherapy and immunotherapy, may be recommended to manage the disease and improve patient outcomes. In cases where colorectal cancer has spread within the abdomen, previously considered incurable, there is newfound hope with innovative strategies such as Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC). Dr. Snita Sinukumar, is highly specialised in performing HIPEC, a complex procedure that shows promise in treating advanced colorectal cancers. These comprehensive treatment options at Jehangir are designed to offer the best possible care and outcomes for patients with colon cancer, tailored to the specific stage of their disease.
"Jehangir Hospital is committed to providing exceptional care in the fight against colon cancer. Our team of skilled oncologists utilizes advanced techniques such as laparoscopic and open surgeries along with Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) ensuring optimal outcomes for our patients. Excellence is reflected in our approach to early detection, personalized treatment plans and ongoing follow-up care'', says Mr Vinod Sawantwadkar, CEO of Jehangir Hospital.
Colon cancer may be a masked killer, but together, we can unveil its secrets and empower ourselves and others with the knowledge needed to combat it. By understanding the symptoms, emphasising regular screenings, and adopting a healthy lifestyle, we take proactive steps in safeguarding our health. Incidence rates of colorectal cancer have been decreasing in high-income countries, largely as a result of effective screening programmes. The prognosis for colorectal cancer varies depending on the stage at diagnosis. Early-stage cancers have higher survival rates than advanced-stage cancers. Timely diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and regular follow-up care are important for improving survival rates and quality of life.
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