Common types of cancer

Colorectal Cancer

Common types of cancer

Colorectal Cancer

About Colorectal Cancer

The large intestine is made up of a long muscular tube known as the colon, and the end of this tube, called the rectum, is extended into the anus. Together, these two components are responsible for the storage of waste. Tumours of the rectum and colon are growths that develop from the intestine’s inner lining.

The cancer of the rectum and colon can spread to other organs. When cancer cells break away and begin to spread, they can affect other parts of the body, such as the lungs and liver. Cancer that spreads to distant organs is referred to as metastasis.

It is the most common type of cancer that men and women in Malaysia have. The incidence increases significantly after the age of 50.

Colorectal Image

Risk Factor of Colon Cancer

Colorectal cancer is not a single cause. Most cases start as benign polyps, which slowly turn into tumours. Some risk factors for this disease include being overweight and having a family history of the illness.

50+
Age

The great majority of people diagnosed with colorectal cancer are older than 50 years of age.

Diet

High in animal fat, high in red meat and preserved meat, and low in fruits, vegetables and fibre.

Personal History

Previous diagnosis of colorectal cancer. Women with a history of cancer of the ovary, uterus and breast have an increased chance of developing colorectal cancer.

Inflammatory Intestinal Conditions

Inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract.

Family History

First-degree relatives (parents, siblings, children) of a person who has had colorectal cancer are more likely to develop this type of cancer themselves.

Race

Chinese in Malaysia have a higher incidence than other races.

Obesity

Diabetes

Lack of exercise or physical activity

Cigarette Smoking & Heavy Comsumption of Alcohol

History of Precancerous Polyps

Sign and Symptoms of Colon Cancer

Check with a doctor if you encounter these signs and symptoms, as they might be caused by colorectal cancer or other conditions.

Change in bowel habits

Diarrhoea, constipation or feeling of bowel not wholly emptied

Blood In Stool

Stools That Are Narrower Than Usual

Abdominal discomfort (frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness and/or cramps)

Unknown reasons for weight loss

Vomiting

Tiredness

Colorectal Screening and Testing

Colorectal screening allows doctors to find and remove polyps (small areas of tissue that can become cancerous over time) and discover colorectal cancer in adults with no signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer at an early stage.

In Malaysia, it is recommended that males aged 50 and above be screened.

SJMC recommends that patients discuss with their physician when to begin screening for colorectal cancer.

Diagnosing Colorectal Cancer

Following a physical examination and history taking, various types of tests are then performed to check for signs of colon cancer:

Digital rectal exam

The doctor inserts a lubricated glove finger into the rectum to feel for lumps and abnormalities.

Faecal occult blood test

The laboratory does a chemical test on small stool samples that detect small amounts of blood that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)

An endoscope is inserted into the rectum. A probe at the end bounces high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) off internal organs to make a picture (sonogram). Also known as endosonography.

Blood test for carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)

CEA is a protein, or tumour marker, made by some cancerous tumours. This test can also be used to find out if the tumour is growing or has come back after treatment.

Colonoscopy

Doctors can examine the entire colon and rectum with a colonoscope (a thin, lighted tube) inserted through the rectum into the colon. Polyps or tissue may be removed for biopsy. A sensitive and accurate test and biopsies can be taken for histopathological diagnosis.

American Cancer Society recommends the following early detection tests to find polyps and cancer for colorectal cancer:

Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years
Colonoscopy every 10 years
Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years
CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years

Tests that may indicate presence of colorectal cancer:

Guaiac-based faecal occult blood test (gFOBT) every year
Faecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year
Stool DNA test every 3 years
Colonoscopy should be done if test results are positive

One of the most common tests that can be performed is fuse colonoscopy, which has cameras at the tip and on the sides of the scope. This procedure can help identify pre-cancerous polyps.

At SJMC, fuse colonoscopies are performed with the help of this type of imaging technology, which allows the physician to see inside the colon with a 360-degree view. This test has been shown to reduce the number of polyps missed by traditional procedures.

Imaging tests that can be carried out include:

Molecular Profiling for Colon Tumour

Colorectal screening allows doctors to find and remove polyps (small areas of tissue that can become cancerous over time) and discover colorectal cancer in adults with no signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer at a through tumour molecular profiling, performed before chemotherapy is delivered, the doctor can create a personalised treatment plan for the individual patient. This process can help identify which drugs are most likely to work for them.

During surgery or biopsy, a tissue sample is analysed for the presence of various genes, enzymes, and proteins to identify the most effective treatment options. The doctor can start treating the cancer as aggressively as possible by choosing the right drugs. n early stage.

In Malaysia, it is recommended that males aged 50 and above be screened.

SJMC recommends that patients discuss with their physician when to begin screening for colorectal cancer.

Treatment Options for Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer patients usually undergo surgery as it is the most common type of cancer treatment. Depending on the disease stage and the tumour’s location, the type of surgery performed can vary.

Minimally invasive surgery is usually performed on a small portion of the abdomen. The surgeon can visualize the inside of the body through visualised surgical instruments.

Making Decision About Treatment

A skilled team is also essential for treating colorectal cancer, as various treatment options are available. At SJMC, our team of specialists can provide our patients with the best possible care:

The team includes multi-disciplinary specialists such as gastroenterologists, radiologists, pathologists, clinical oncologists and colorectal surgeons. These individuals work together to create our patients' best possible treatment plan.

Every patient receives a thorough understanding of the various factors that affect their treatment. The doctor will also talk about the treatment's possible side effects and the disease stage.

Doctors here can guide patients through the complicated choices posed by these factors

Supportive Care

The staff and doctors of the Centre are dedicated to providing the best possible care for each individual. The goal is to enhance the well-being of all patients. All our patients have access to the Cancer & Radiosurgery Centre Patient and Family Resource Centre, which offers a wide array of support and educational services, including:

Oncology Nurse Educator
Patient & Family Liaison Officer
Counsellor
Pain management specialists
Cancer Careline
Post-surgery Stoma Care

Programmes in which patients can participate include:

Diet workshops

Support group activities

Yoga & Exercise workshops

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