Detecting colorectal cancerColorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in Germany. In figures, this means that one in seven cancer diagnoses affects the intestine. Observations also show that the number of new cases is increasing. At the same time, however, the prognosis has improved significantly, so that more and more affected individuals are surviving the disease. The earlier colorectal cancer is detected, the greater the chances of cure. Therefore, you should be aware of some facts. See a doctor when symptoms appear.
Colorectal cancer – correctly classifying the stage
Colorectal cancer is divided into four stages:
This is a young colorectal cancer in which the tumor is very small. Also, the cancer is located only in the upper layers of the intestinal mucosa and is usually discovered only by chance. Surgery is still required. Since metastases do not usually occur at this stage, further treatment is usually not necessary. However, regular check-ups are important.
Stage I is also still considered an early stage with good chances of cure if the tumor is surgically removed. The lymph nodes are not yet affected. The probability of metastases is also low.
Stage II is another early stage of colorectal cancer with a high chance of complete cure. Although the tumor has affected the entire intestinal wall, it is limited to this wall. However, there is a risk that it will break through the intestinal wall and continue to spread. Metastases are possible, but the lymph nodes are not yet affected. Following surgery, further measures are required.
This stage is called advanced. There is a chance that the cancer may not be completely removed during surgery. There is also a high risk that the cancer will return and metastasize. The probability of survival is still good. If it is colon cancer, chemotherapy is also required. If rectal cancer is diagnosed, a combined treatment of chemotherapy and radiotherapy is recommended.
The colorectal cancer has already spread to other organs at this stage. At this stage, a cure is difficult, but not impossible. Tumors are removed surgically, if possible. Chemotherapy is recommended for the treatment of metastases.
Colorectal cancer – symptoms
For early detection of colorectal cancer, it is important to know the symptoms and causes. Symptoms are mainly warning signs. If you observe these signals in yourself, see a doctor. The appearance of symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have cancer. However, if this is the case, your chances of recovery increase significantly with early treatment.
These first signs of colorectal cancer are possible:
– Altered bowel movements – Abdominal pain – Blood in the stool
Especially if these symptoms last longer, you should seek clarification. Signs may differ depending on the type of colorectal cancer. Symptoms can also be of a general nature, so that you do not associate them with colorectal cancer at all.
Symptoms of colorectal cancer include:
– Loss of performance – General fatigue – Fever – Night sweats
Of course, these signs can also be signals of other disorders. Possible causes are z. B. Inflammatory processes that can also take place in the intestine and, if left untreated, lead to severe health restrictions. If the cancer has been present for a longer period of time, additional symptoms will occur. If the tumor bleeds, this leads to anemia in the long term, which can then be detected in a blood test. Furthermore, weight loss is possible. With large tumors, severe stool discomfort is to be expected, up to and including intestinal obstruction.
Know and avoid the causes of colorectal cancer
Researchers are working hard to identify as many triggers for cancer as possible. This is especially true for the common cancers, which include colorectal cancer in addition to skin cancer. While black skin cancer, light skin cancer and squamous cell carcinoma are often discovered by the patient himself, this is not the case with colorectal cancer. This is why early detection of colorectal cancer is particularly important.
You are at increased risk if:
– Familial incidence of intestinal diseases – Own chronic intestinal diseases – Cancer in the family – Unhealthy, especially high-fat diet – Overweight – Nicotine consumption – Lack of exercise
If you have factors beyond your control, such as a family history of cancer or a predisposition to intestinal disease, you should attend regular screening examinations. Other known triggers you can influence yourself. Health insurance companies offer supportive programs for this.
Examination methods for early detection of colorectal cancer: Colorectal cancer develops earlier in men
Numerous examination procedures are available for early detection. Talk to your family doctor about this. The first measure is a blood test. The doctor checks whether there are any deviations from the norm. Thus, z. B. the number of red blood cells (erythrocytes) is significantly reduced. The number of white blood cells (leukocytes) may be significantly elevated. B. the number of red blood cells (erythrocytes) is significantly reduced. The number of white blood cells (leukocytes) be significantly increased. Number of red blood cells (erythrocytes) significantly reduced. The number of white blood cells (leukocytes) may be significantly elevated. The value of the blood platelets (thrombocytes) also differs in this case. If there are any abnormalities or if you have symptoms of colon cancer, the doctor will also recommend a colonoscopy.
Men should be screened for colorectal cancer earlier than women – starting at age 50. This is the conclusion reached by researchers at the Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU) Clinic in Munich, Germany. According to the LMU, almost 70 people are diagnosed with the disease each year.000 people newly diagnosed with it. In addition, colorectal cancer is still associated with a high mortality rate.
"Men have a significantly higher risk than women of having an advanced adenoma or colorectal cancer found during a colonoscopy," said senior physician Professor Frank Kolligs, explaining the recommendation.
For some time now, there has been increasing evidence that the precancerous lesions in men generally develop earlier than in women. Previous studies, however, usually only survey small numbers of cases or use data from cancer registries and mortality statistics. In the current study, the researchers evaluated data from around 625.000 colonoscopies from 2006 to 2008 from. The patients were between 18 and 79 years old. "The data reflect the reality in the practices very well," says Kolligs. This is because they include, first, screening colonoscopies, second, colonoscopies ordered for symptoms in all age groups, and third, colonoscopies after a positive hemoccult test. This detects blood in the stool, which can be an indication of an intestinal tumor.
Capsule endoscopy is used for the early detection of colorectal cancer and for preventive purposes. During such an examination, the doctor gives you a capsule that you swallow. It contains a radiofrequency coil, which in turn is scanned from the outside by a scanner. This test is used to determine whether the intestines are permeable. Scanning is not necessary if you find that you have excreted the capsule. If it is not excreted, it will dissolve after 30 hours.
During the biopsy the doctor takes tie samples from the intestine. The biopsy is usually performed during a colonoscopy. For this, the doctor inserts a small forceps through the endoscope to the area to be examined. The samples are then examined in the laboratory for abnormalities.
Virtual colonoscopy (CT colonography or MR colonography) is a new procedure to examine the intestine from the outside. Nevertheless, a thin tube is inserted through the anus. A gas is then passed through this tube into the intestine. If this were not the case, the intestinal walls of the empty intestine would lie on top of each other. A pictorial representation would then not be possible.
Take advantage of the offers of the preventive programs. If you are over 35 years of age and have special risk factors, you are entitled to screening to detect colorectal cancer. If this is not the case, the health insurance company will cover the cost of preventive examinations from the age of 55.