The 12 feet human large intestine is divisible into two parts. Its first half constitutes the colon popularly referred to as the bowel. The second half constitutes the rectum and the following anal canal. The latter terminates into the anal opening which helps oust the excreta from the large intestine to outside the body. The primary function of rectum is to prepare the undigested food to be expelled out of the body. Persons having the genetic and medical history of cancer of the gastrointestinal tract or of the breast and ovary cancer have greater possibility to the risk for the same.
The inner most lining of the rectum wall is called mucosa. It contains glands that contribute to the secretion of mucus that helps lubricate the passage of stool. When the cancer is pertaining to the mucosa of any organ it is termed as adenocarcinoma. Colon-rectal cancer falls in the category of adenocarcinoma cancers. In this case the cancerous cells are initially benign or harmless and stay localized. They are manifested externally in the form of adenomatous polyp in the colon. However in course of time some of them turn malignant and begin spreading from the colon-rectum to the surrounding lymph nodes. Their spread is furthermore to other parts of the body through the blood stream and lymphatic channels to assault yet other organs of the body. This mechanism is referred to as metastasis. The malignant cells that have lost their normal control mechanisms are clumped together to form tumors. The line of treatment followed for this cancer depends upon how deeply the cancer has pervaded the rectal walls and the neighboring lymph nodes.
The colon-rectal cancer is visible externally by way of certain symptoms such as the
o Change in bowel habits in terms of its constituency, frequency and quality. It is either constipation or loose motions. There is feeling of insatiate excretion as if some thing still remains inside.
o Constricted stool referred to as ribbon stool.
o Blood in the stool.
o Chronic fatigue, anemia, weight loss for no reason.
o Uneasiness in passing bowels.
o Pelvic pain. In later stages of colon-rectal stool begins coming out of vagina also in case of females. In similar case in males air urine becomes a frequent feature.
Colon rectal cancer is caused due to
o Diet low in dietary fiber and high in saturated fats as red meats, butter, products made from refined/white flour, alcohol, diet low in selenium. It is low in green and colored veggies and fruits.
o Increased age
o Genetics/Family medical history of cancers of various organs.
o Physical inactivity
o Exposure to human papilloma virus.
Colon-Rectal cancer may be kept at bay by
o Improving dietary habits. It should be rich in soluble as well as insoluble fiber, whole grain bread, fresh fruits, green and colored veggies, fish, nuts, ample water, fresh air, sunshine and good sleep.
o Regular exercise and other forms of body activity.
o Eat only when actually hungry. Drink lots of water to flush toxics out of the body. Water also helps body adequately hydrated. It ensures metabolic activities to be performed efficiently.
o Increased fiber rubs the walls of intestine and brushes it off the metabolic toxic and several other micro-organisms which if allowed persisting may lead to conversion of benign forms to malignant cases in later stages.
Colonoscopy using endoscope is used to diagnose colon-rectal cancer. The line of treatment is surgery followed by chemotherapy.