Colorectal cancer (Colon and Rectal Cancer) is cancer affecting the colon (large bowel) or the terminal part of the large bowel which involves the rectum and the anus. It affects men and women of all races. It is common in people above the age of 50. It is a major cause of death only after lung and prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women.
Risk factors for Colon Cancer
- Age above 50
- Genetic predisposition
- Colonic polyps
- Family History
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Diet rich in red meat
- Lack of exercise
- Cigarette smoking
A change of bowel habits may be a common symptom especially above the age of 50 like alternating constipation and diarrhea. Blood in the stool, loss of weight, incomplete emptying of the bowel, weakness or fatigue, nausea or vomiting may be other symptoms.
Though colorectal cancer is very common it is probably one of the easiest to treat if diagnosed early. If symptoms arise in a high risk patient, there should be no delay in seeking out help. A screening colonoscopy would rule out colorectal cancer. Stool blood tests are also used in screening.
Colorectal Cancer treatment depends on the stage of the disease. Early stages can be treated by Surgery only or a combination of Surgery and Chemotherapy. Radiotherapy is also used in some patients.
Laser Surgery for Colon Cancer
In Laser Laparoscopy the Ho yag laser can be effectively applied to cut and seal tissues with minimal lateral spread of current. The morbidity of colorectal cancer surgery is considerably reduced when the laser beam is used for cutting tissues. Combined with other vessel sealing devices and the harmonic scalpel, blood loss is minimal, postoperative pain is greatly reduced and the hospital stay kept to a minimum. Recuperation period is very short and the patient returns to work quickly.
Holmium Yag LaserA multi-purpose, multi-speciality surgical laser which has revolutionized the surgical process of Gastro Intestinal Tract with minimal pain and blood loss.