What is Colorectal cancer ?
Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon and rectum. This cancer begins with the small growth (polyp) protruding from the inner lining of the colon and rectum.
What is the cause ?
The exact causes of colorectal cancer are unknown yet, but the disease appears to be caused by both genetic and lifestyle factors. Lifestyle factors such as cigarette smoking, lack of physical exercise, and obesity may increase the risk of developing the disease. Genetic factors may determine a person's susceptibility to the disease; whereas dietary and other lifestyle factors may determine which individuals actually go on to develop the disease. In the majority of the cases, no identifiable cause is attributed to colorectal cancer. However, random genetic changes that occur in the cells lining the colon or rectum might result in the cancer.
What are the risk factors ?
Men and women above 50 years of age are at almost equal risk of developing colorectal cancer. People with a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps are at a higher risk of developing the disease. The cancer may also develop in anyone who has a long-term personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease).
How can I prevent ?
If you are aged above 50, yearly screenings will help in detection at an early stage. The screenings help to identify and removal of pre-cancerous polyps thus preventing in the development of cancer. Importantly, regular exercise and maintaining a diet that is low on animal fat and high in fruits, vegetables and fiber helps. Quitting smoking and keeping alcohol consumption in moderation also helps prevent the development of the disease.
What is the diagnosis ?
After a thorough physical examination, a doctor might use several tests to confirm presence of cancer. Colonoscopy helps doctors to look inside the colon and rectum for abnormal growth. To confirm whether the abnormal growth is cancerous, a biopsy is used. Additionally, several other tests might be used to assess the growth, size and spread of the cancer.
How is it treated ?
As with most cancers, surgical removal, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy options are the main treatment options. Doctors factor in several parameters before choosing one or a combination of the options.
Is Robotic Surgery an option and why ?
- Very low rectal cancer wherein sometimes colostomy (passing motions through abdomen) can be deferred by Robotic Surgery. Robotic assisted ultra low resection of rectum cancer can avoid colostomy.
- Tremor free surgery helps in precision and stability.
- 3D vision & magnification helps on preserving urinary and sexual function better by identifying & preserving nerves.