Colon Cancer Treatment in Kansas City
Patients who are fortunate enough to have their colon cancer diagnosed early on are often excellent candidates for a surgical procedure to remove the cancerous tissue. These various types of surgery will depend primarily upon where the cancer is located, how widespread it is, and what the ultimate goal of the surgery is.
Who is at Risk?
According to the American Cancer Society, roughly 1 in 22 men and 1 in 24 women are at risk of developing colon cancer at some point in their lifetime. Additional contributors to this cancer include:
- Alcohol use
- Being of a mature age, though rates of colon cancer cases for patients under the age of 50 have recently been rising
- Patient history of inflammatory bowel disease
- Family history of colon cancer or related conditions
About Colon Cancer Screenings
Typically, the preferred method for checking the health of the colon is to perform a colonoscopy. These procedures are recommended to be completed every 10 years, with the possibility of increased frequency if the patient has a higher chance of developing colon cancer.
Because a colonoscopy is not a particularly pleasant experience for many patients, they often make the excuse that they do not have the time to be screened for colon cancer. This is one of the riskiest things that an individual can do for themselves.
It is not worth your life to gamble on colon cancer. By attending regular screenings, you can greatly reduce your risk of developing a severe case of colon cancer, which can easily save your life.
Colon Cancer Surgery
When is a Polypectomy Used?
If an individual possesses cancerous colon polyps, then these can often be removed during a polypectomy. Colon polyps are small growths of tissue that extend from the inner wall of the colon. While most colon polyps are harmless, some can certainly develop into colon cancer.
To remove a colon polyp, your doctor will pass a wire loop through the colonoscope (an endoscopic tool used to examine the inner colon). Once the wire is in place around the base of the polyp, an electrical current is passed through the wire to sever the polyp from the wall of the colon.
What is a Local Excision?
A similar procedure called a local excision can also be used to remove cancers growing inside of the colon. The main difference between a polypectomy and a local excision is that a local excision also aims to remove part of the colon tissue. Obviously, this is only necessary if the cancer has begun to affect the lining of the colon.
Despite being a more complex procedure, a local excision is still able to be performed without making any incisions in the patient’s abdomen. This minimally invasive technique allows the patient to recover much more quickly, and also lowers their risk of potential complications such as bleeding or infection.
Various Types of Colectomies
If a substantial part of the colon, or the entire colon needs to be removed, then it is known as a colectomy. Instances in which only a portion of the colon is removed is referred to as a partial colectomy, or a segmental resection. Those that require all of the colon to be extracted will need to undergo a total colectomy.
Most cases of colon cancer will involve a partial colectomy since a total colectomy is more commonly used to treat more chronic conditions like ulcerative colitis or familial adenomatous polyposis. After the necessary tissue has been removed, your surgeon will attach the remaining ends of the colon to one another before completing the surgery.
Whenever a colectomy is performed it is also customary to resect nearby lymph nodes as well in order to test them for any signs of cancer that may have spread outward to other areas of the body.
How Do You Treat a Blocked Colon?
It is also possible for cancerous tissue to form a blockage inside the colon. This is especially dangerous for any patient as it will cause their health to deteriorate very quickly if not addressed as soon as possible.
If the person continues to have their health compromised by a blocked colon then they are highly unlikely to survive any sort of other surgical treatments for their colon cancer. For this reason, any sort of blockage will need to be treated before continuing with any additional colon surgeries.
Additional Information About Colon Cancer
To learn more about surgeries performed by your doctor to treat colon cancer or other conditions of the colon, please contact our local office today by calling (816) 941-0800.