Colon cancer is a cancer that begins in the large intestine, which is the last part of the digestive system. In its early stages, colon cancer may not cause any symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, patients may experience:
Because colon cancer is very curable when it’s caught early, patients over the age of 50 should undergo regular colon cancer screenings.
The treatments recommended for patients with colon cancer will depend on the stage of the disease, as well as other factors. The patient may need surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or targeted drug therapies.
There are a variety of colon cancer surgeries Dr. Patel may perform depending on the many variables with this disease. For example, when the cancer is small, Dr. Patel may use minimally-invasive surgery to remove the tumor and some of the surrounding tissue. For invasive cancers, Dr. Patel may perform a partial colectomy, which is a procedure that removes the part of the colon that contains cancer. He may also remove nearby lymph nodes to test for cancer.
When cancer is very advanced, Dr. Patel may perform a surgery to remove any part of the tumor that is blocking the colon.
When Dr. Patel removes part of the colon, he will try to reconnect the healthy portions of the colon so that the patient can eliminate waste normally. However, in some cases, this may not be possible. If Dr. Patel can’t reconnect the remaining parts of the colon, he will create a colostomy. Depending on the situation, the colostomy may be temporary or permanent.
In some cases, surgery alone can cure colon cancer. However, if the cancer has spread, surgery may be used in combination with other treatments to achieve a cure. In cases where cancer is advanced, Dr. Patel may perform surgery to improve the patient’s symptoms, rather than to cure the cancer.