Do you always feel the urgency to move your bowels, but nothing comes out when you try? You may be experiencing a symptom that is associated with colon cancer, which requires prompt treatment for your safety. In this article, learn about the diagnosis and treatment process for colon cancer so you can be prepared if you have it.
How Can a Physician Diagnose Colon Cancer?
Diagnosing colon cancer begins with a physician running a test that is called a colonoscopy. The test is done so the physician can thoroughly examine what the inside of your large intestine looks like. A device called a colonoscope will be inserted inside the intestine to look for tumors, ulcers and other abnormalities. The colonoscope has a tiny video camera on it that allows the physician to view the inside on your intestine on a monitor.
Be prepared to refrain from consuming solid foods right before undergoing a colonoscopy. You will also be restricted to the consumption of drinking only clear fluids. The point is to make sure your colon is cleaned out before your colonoscopy is performed, as it will make the test result more efficient.
Keep in mind that a colonoscopy may cause you to feel some stomach cramping and pain. However, your physician will make sure that you are medicated for pain relief during the procedure. He or she may also give you a sedative that will help you relax or fall asleep to help make the procedure easier to cope with.
How Will Colon Cancer Be Treated If Diagnosed?
Colon cancer will be treated based on how severe it is, such as which stage it has progressed to. If colon cancer is in stage one and only present in the inner lining, a physician should be able to treat it through the surgical removal of the tumor. A portion of the tissue surrounding the cancerous tumor may also have to be removed.
Stage four colon cancer is the most severe form of the condition. Treating it may involve surgery to remove the tumor and portions of any other organs that the cancer has spread to, such as the liver. You may also have to undergo chemotherapy and take a variety of different drugs.
Don't just assume that you are constipated when you are having a hard time moving your bowels. Make an appointment with a physician to find out if you possibly have colon cancer so treatment can begin! For more information, speak with professionals like the Lincoln Surgical Group PC.