nursing care for colorectal cancer

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colorectal cancer definition

Content is medically reviewed by:
Dr. Udaya Kumar Maiya (MBBS, MD, DNB(RT), DCCF (Paris), Medical Director, Portea.

‘Colorectal cancer is the cancer that originates in the colon, which is the largest part of the large intestine, and /or the rectum.’

Colorectal cancer can also be referred to as bowel cancer, rectal cancer and colon cancer depending upon the site of origin of the cancer. Colorectal cancer can be benign or malignant or non cancerous. A malignant cancer is capable of spreading to other organs of the body. Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of death among women and the third most common cause of death among men.

colorectal cancer types

Nearly all the cancers found in the rectum and colon is adenocarcinomas and the adenocarcinomas constitute nearly 95 percent of all colorectal cancers.  The varied colorectal cancer types are;

Other rare types of colorectal cancer are:

  • Primary colorectal lymphomas
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumors
  • Leiomyosarcomas
  • Melanomas

colorectal cancer stages

Colorectal cancer staging is done after various colorectal cancers tests that help in the diagnosis of the disease, which would determine the extent of the cancer in the body. Accordingly, five colorectal cancer stages has been identified these are

  • Stage 0 – At this stage the cancer cells are found limited to the mucosa or wall of the colon and is also called carcinoma in situ.
  • Stage1 – At this stage the cancer cells have penetrated into the mucosa and sub mucosa but have not spread to any other area of the colon.
  • Stage 2 – At this stage the cancer cells have spread past the colon walls but are yet to affect the lymph nodes. This stage is further classified into three sub stages – Stage IIa, IIb and IIc
  • Stage 3 – At this stage the cancer cells have not only gone past the colon walls but have also affected the lymph nodes but, has not yet spread to other organs. This stage too has been further classified into three sub stages
  • Stage 4 – This is the advanced stage of colorectal cancer and the cancer has spread from colon walls and lymph nodes to other organs through the lymph nodes and blood.

colorectal cancer symptoms

Colorectal cancer symptoms are as follows;

  • Change of bowel habits
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Blood in faeces making the stool appear black
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Feeling full even after not having eaten for a while
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Lump in the abdomen or back passage
  • Iron deficiency
  • Chronic abdominal discomfort like cramps and gas
  • Feeling that the bowel has not emptied properly after bowel movement

colorectal cancer causes

The exact colorectal cancer causes are still not known. Although how the colorectal cancer develops in known, researchers are still clueless regarding why the normal start behaving in this unusual manner or the cause of the mutation of the cells. Few risks have been identified that have been to be contributory reasons behind colorectal cancer. The leading risk factors leading to colorectal cancer causes are;

  • Old age
  • Male gender
  • Alcohol, smoking and red meat consumption
  • Being overweight
  • Diet rich in fats and processed meat
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Diabetes type – II
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Genetics

colorectal cancer diagnosis

Doctors recommend various colorectal cancer screening tests in the Colorectal cancer diagnosis for the early detection of the disease as it helps in boosting the chances for a cure. People over the age of 50 years should get a colorectal screening test done to detect cancer and people with some history of the disease should get themselves screened by the age of 45 years.

The various colorectal diagnostic tests used in the diagnosis of colorectal cancer are; colonoscopy to take tissue samples for lab testing, blood tests to detect carcinoembroynic antigen or CEA, macroscopy and microscopy.

Some other colorectal cancer tests used for the diagnosis are CT scan of the chest, abdomen and pelvis, PET scan and MRI scan among others.

colorectal cancer home treatment

Colorectal cancer home treatment includes varied home remedies, therapeutic therapies and colorectal cancer care. Here are a few colorectal cancer home treatment pointers that can help in colorectal cancer care;

  • Include a lot of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet as these contain essential vitamins, minerals and anti oxidants much needed by the body.
  • Quit smoking and alcohol
  • Practice yoga or some sort of physical exercise regularly
  • Maintain a fit lifestyle and healthy weight
  • Practice deep breathing and meditation to help relieve the stress.

colorectal cancer treatment

Colorectal cancer treatment depends upon the early detection of the disease and the stage. If the cancer is caught at an early stage then it can be cured through surgery and other colorectal cancer treatments but if the cancer is detected at an advanced stage the colorectal cancer treatment turns to providing palliative care or containing and managing the symptoms to provide relief to the patient. The colorectal cancer treatment plan includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy and palliative care.

  • Surgery: Depending upon the stage of cancer surgery is conducted to remove the affected tissue by means of colonoscopy, laparotomy and colostomy
  • Chemotherapy: It can be used in conjunction with surgical treatment. It is essentially the use of chemical drugs to kill cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy:  Radiation therapy in combination with chemotherapy have proven beneficial in eliminating some stages of rectal cancer
  • Immunotherapy: This therapy has been found useful in the treatment of certain types of colorectal cancer
  • Palliative care: It is designed to manage symptoms and improve the quality of life. It is recommended for patients with advanced stage of colorectal cancer.

how can we help?

Portea offers one of the best colorectal cancer treatments at home; this treatment plan is well suited for people looking for palliative care. Portea’s nurses for colorectal cancer care are well versed with the symptoms and know how to take care of such patients. So if you are looking for colorectal cancer treatment at home, just connect with us and let our nurses for colorectal cancer care provide the very best of home healthcare to the patients.

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