Cancer

What is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer

in normal word is cancer of bowel, which is characterized by neoplasia in rectum, colon or vermiform appendix. This cancer starts from the lining of the bowel and can grow till the muscles underneath if not treated. Mostly this bowel cancer starts with a small growth on wall of colon like a colorectal polyp or adenoma. These polyps are mushroom shaped, but are benign in nature. These over the period of time turn cancerous. Invasive cancer which is confined to the walls of colon grows in stages called as TNM stages and is mostly curable with surgery. If left untreated they spread to regional lymph nodes and this metastasized cancer is usually not curable.

How is Colorectal Cancer Diagnosed?

There are two types of stages for this cancer:

  1. Clinical stage:

    This is the best stage for your doctor to determine the extent of your disease, based on the biopsy, physical examinations and other diagnostic tests.

  2. Pathological stage:

    This stage is based on the facts of surgery’s result. This stage is used to describe the extent of the cancer as this stage is more accurate than the clinical stage.

What is TNM Stage?

Staging system in cancer treatment is one of the standardized ways to describe the extent of the cancer. AJCC( American Joint Committee on cancer) is the most known staging system for colorectal cancer and this is also called as TNM stage:

  • T describes the extent of groeth of the tumor into the intestine wall and weather it has spread to surrounding areas or not.
  • N shows the extent of tumor to the nearby lymph nodes. These lymph nodes are the small bean shaped clusters of immune cells which help fight infections.
  • M indicates The spread of cancer to other organs.

Facts and Figures of Colorectal cancer:

  • This is the third commonly diagnosed cancer in the world and is mostly found in developed countries.
  • In 2008, more than 1.23 million people diagnosed with this and more than 60,000 were killed.
  • In England, more than 90% of people diagnosed with this cancer at TNM stage I and II phase, survives more than 5 years.

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