Tag Archives: Colorectal cancer

Araroba

Botanical Name:  Andira araroba
Family:Fabaceae/ Leguminosae
Subfamily:Faboideae
Genus:    Andira
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:Fabales

Synonyms:  Goa Powder. Crude Chrysarobin. Bahia Powder. Brazil Powder. Ringworm Powder. Chrysatobine. Goa. Araroba Powder. Voucapoua Araroba,Vataireopsis araroba
Common Name :  Araroba
Habitat :  Andira araroba is  commonly found in Bahia, Brazil.

Description:
Andira Araroba, is large, smooth, and quite . It is met with in great abundance in certain forests in the province of Bahia, preferring as a rule low and humid spots. The tree is from 80 to 100 ft. high and has large imparipinnate leaves, the leaflets of which are oblong, about 12 in. long and 1 in. broad, and somewhat truncate at the apex. The flowers are papilionaceous, of a purple color and arranged in panicles.

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The yellowish wood has longitudinal canals and interspaces in which the powder is deposited in increasing quantity as the tree ages. It is probably due to a pathological condition. It is scraped out with an axe, after felling, sawing, and splitting the trunk, and is thus inevitably mixed with splinters and debris, so that it needs sifting, and is sometimes ground, dried, boiled, and filtered.
It irritates the eyes and face of the woodmen.

As it darkens quickly, the crude chrysarobin is changed from primrose yellow to shades of dark brown before it is met with in commerce, when it often contains a large percentage of water, added to prevent the dust from rising.

An amber skin-varnish is made with 20 parts of amber to 1 of chrysarobin in turpentine.

Chemical Composition:  Araroba is remarkable for occasionally yielding from 80 to 85 per cent of chrysophanic acid, as shown by Attfield, in 1875, and, according to the same authority, the remainder of the powder examined consists of 7 per cent of a glucoside and bitter matter, 2 of a resinous substance, 5 ½ of a red woody fiber, and ½ per cent of ash. The ashes consist chiefly of silicate of aluminum, and sulphates of potassium and of sodium. Prof J. U. Lloyd examined several specimens upon the market, and, in all cases, obtained a much smaller proportion of chrysophanic acid than stated by Mr. Attfield. Therefore, he concluded that Attfield must have procured an unexceptionally rich specimen of araroba, or that which reached this country was very inferior. Araroba readily yields chrysophanic acid to benzin. When heated in a suitable vessel, a sublimate is obtained, which, doubtless, consists largely of the aforementioned acid, as it is colored red by alkalies in solution. Araroba is chiefly employed for the preparation of chrysophanic acid (which see). Liebermann and Siedler, are authority for the statement that chrysophanic acid does not exist ready-formed in araroba, but is formed by oxidation of a natural constituent, to which they give the formula C30H26O7, and the name Chrysarobin (previously applied to araroba).

The powder is insoluble in water, but yields up to 80 per cent. of its weight to solutions of caustic alkalies and to benzene. It contains 80 to 84 per cent. of chrysarobin (easily convertible into chrysophanic acid), resin, woody fibre, and bitter extractive. Goa Powder is usually regarded as crude chrysarobin, while the purified chrysarobin, or Araroba, is a mixture extracted by hot benzene, which melts when heated, and leaves not more than 1 per cent. of ash when it finally burns.

Chrysarobin is a reduced quinone, and chrysophanic acid (also found in rhubarb yellow lichen, Buckthorn Berries, Rumox Eckolianus, a South African dock, etc., etc.), is a dioxymethylanthraquinone.

Chrysarobin contains at least five substances, and owes its power to one of these, chrysophanol-anthranol.

Lenirobin, a tetracetate,, and eurobin, a triacetate, are recommended as substitutes for chrysarobin, as they do not stain linen indelibly. (Benzin helps to remove the stains of chrysarobin.)

The action of chrysarobin on the skin is not due to germicidal properties, but to its chemical affinity for the keratin elements of the skin. The oxygen for its oxidation is abstracted from the epithelium by the drug.

Oxidized chrysarobin, obtained by boiling chrysarobin in water with sodium peroxide, can be used as an ointment for forms of eczema which chrysarobin would irritate too much.

Medicinal Uses:
The internal dose in pill or powder is a gastro-intestinal irritant, producing large, watery stools and vomiting. It is used in eczema, psoriasis, aene, and other skin diseases.

In India and South Ameriea it has been esteemed for many years for ringworm, psoriasis, dhobi’s itch, etc., as ointment, or simply moistened with vinegar or saliva. The application causes the eruption to become whitish, while the skin around it is stained dark.

In the crude form it should never be applied to the head, as it may cause erythema and oedema of the face. The 2 per cent. ointment is good in ecezema (after exudation has ceased), fissured nipples, and tylosis of the palms and soles after the skin has been removed by salicylic acid plaster, etc.

A drachm of chrysarobin may be dissolved in a fluid ounce of official flexible collodion, painted over the parts with a camel’s-hair brush, and the part coated with plain collodion to avoid staining the clothing; or chrysarobin may be dissolved in chloroform and the solution painted on the skin. For haemorrhoids, an ointment mixed with iodoform, belladonna, and petrolatum is recommended.

It is said to have been used as a taenifuge.

Known Hazards:
Precautions – Adverse reactions
The drug is severely irritating to skin and mucous membranes (redness, swelling, pustules and conjunctivitis, even without eye contact).
External administration on large skin areas could cause resorptive poisonings.
Internal administration leads to vomiting, diarrhea and kidney inflammation (with as little as
0.01 g).

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/araro052.html
http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/andira-arar.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Araroba_powder
http://www.globalhealth.it/xwp1/piante-medicinali/andira-araroba/

 

Hereditary Non-polyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC)

 

Definition:
HNPCC is an inherited genetic mutation that causes to develop colon, rectal  or bowel cancer.

In people with HNPCC, bowel cancer typically develops at a younger age than non-hereditary bowel cancer – around the ages of 40 to 50 rather than 60 to 70.

Some of the genes (basic units of heredity) that cause HNPCC are known. Nonpolyposis means that colorectal cancer can occur when only a small number of polyps is present (or polyps are not present at all). In HNPCC, colorectal cancer occurs primarily on the right side of the colon (you may see the  diagram). Sometimes other cancers can occur in families with HNPCC. They include cancer of the uterus, ovary, stomach, urinary tract, small bowel, and bile ducts. Other names for HNPCC are Lynch syndrome and cancer family syndrome.
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The gastrointestinal digestive tract is a hollow tube which begins at the mouth and ends at the anus. It has several parts including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon (large intestine). Its total length is about 28 feet. The last 5-6 feet of the intestine is called the colon (large intestine, large bowel). The last 5 or 6 inches of the colon is the rectum. After food is digested, solid wastes move through the colon and rectum to the anus, where they are passed out of the body.

What are Polyps: Polyps are abnormal, mushroom-like growths. When found in the gastrointestinal tract, they occur most commonly inside the colon (large intestine, large bowel). Polyps vary in size from less than one-tenth of an inch to 1-2 inches. They may be so large as to block part of the intestine. In some people polyps may be inherited, while in others they are not inherited. Certain types of polyps can turn into colon cancer or rectal cancer.

HNPCC is also called Lynch syndrome. Henry T. Lynch (professor of medicine at Creighton University Medical Center), characterized the syndrome in 1966. In his earlier work, he described the disease entity as “cancer family syndrome.” The term “Lynch syndrome” was coined in 1984 by other authors, and Lynch himself coined the term HNPCC in 1985. Since then, the two terms have being used interchangeably, until more recent advances in the understanding of the genetics of the disease led to the term HNPCC falling out of favor.

How HNPCC is inherited: People with HNPCC have a 50% chance of passing the HNPCC gene to each of their children (see diagram p. 5). The gene can be passed on even if the parent has had surgery to remove his or her own colon. Individuals who do not inherit the gene cannot pass it to their own children. The vast majority of individuals with HNPCC develop cancer.
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Some individuals with HNPCC do not have an affected parent. These individuals, who are the first to have the condition, are referred to as having a new mutation (newly altered gene). They can, however, pass this HNPCC gene to their children.
In the United States, about 160,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed each year. Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer is responsible for approximately 2 percent to 7 percent of all diagnosed cases of colorectal cancer. The average age of diagnosis of cancer in patients with this syndrome is 44 years old, as compared to 64 years old in people without the syndrome.

Symptoms:
Symptoms include a change in bowel habit (needing to visit the toilet more frequently, with diarrhoea or constipation), the passage of blood with faeces, weight loss(Unusual and continuing lack of energy), change in appetite, abdominal pain and even an abdominal mass.

It should be emphasized that there is no safety in simply waiting for symptoms to develop. It is vital that persons at risk make every effort to have examinations starting by age 25 or 5 to 10 years before the age of the earliest colorectal cancer diagnosed in the family, even if they do not have symptoms.
Causes and risk factors:-
The genes affected are known as repair genes, which means they normally detect and repair damage in DNA that occurs when DNA is copied during cell division. However, when the genetic mutations are present, mistakes in DNA persist. The faulty DNA accumulates leading to uncontrolled cell growth and hence a risk of cancer.

The genes associated with HNPCC can sometimes cause other cancers, such as stomach, small intestine, liver, gall-bladder, ovary, endometrium (the lining of the womb), kidney, brain, skin and prostate gland.

Diagnosis: –
Persons at risk for HNPCC usually have a family history of two successive generations of colon cancer or at least one generation with colon cancer and one generation with polyps. Men and women at risk for HNPCC need examinations of the entire colon. Women at risk should also have yearly endometrial screening. Two tests, colonoscopy and barium enema, are available to tell whether polyps or cancer is present in the colon. For patients at risk for HNPCC, colonoscopy is the preferred method of screening.

1.Colonoscopy is an examination by means of a flexible, lighted tube, slightly larger in diameter than an enema tube, that is inserted into the colon. Tiny amounts of tissue may be removed from any part of the colon for microscopic study during this procedure. Before a person undergoes a colonoscopy a sedative is given; many persons sleep through the whole procedure and feel little or no discomfort. During this procedure it is sometimes necessary for the doctor to insert some air into the colon. Occasionally, air will cause the same kind of discomfort as a gas pain.

2.Barium enema is a test in which a white liquid called barium is inserted as an enema into the colon. This test allows the colon to be outlined when an x-ray picture is taken. If polyps are present they can be seen on the x-ray. The barium enema feels much like an ordinary enema, causing a feeling of fullness. This test should not be performed on pregnant women because of the risk of x-rays to the fetus.

For both of these tests of the colon, the patient must undergo a preparation before examination. The preparation, which includes a liquid diet and laxatives, clears stool from the colon so that all areas of the colon can be inspected. Exact instructions will be provided by the doctor before the examination.

A blood test for the HNPCC gene will tell at-risk family members if they have inherited the gene mutation identified in the family. However, gene tests do not reveal the presence of polyps or cancer.

Treatment:
If a polyp is found, removal through the colonoscope may be sufficient, although surgery may be recommended for some patients. If cancer is found at examination, the doctor will recommend colon surgery. Removing the entire colon is the only way to completely prevent the development of colon cancer or to treat existing cancer.

Several different operations are currently available for treatment of HNPCC. The three most commonly performed operations are total colectomy with: 1) ileorectal anastomosis, 2) ileoanal pull-through (pouch procedure), or 3) ileostomy. All three operations involve removal of all or most of the colon. After a complete discussion of these operations, the patient and surgeon together can decide which one is best. Women with HNPCC may also consider surgical removal of the uterus, ovaries, and Fallopian tubes.

In some cases, after colon removal, a person may have an ileostomy. An ileostomy is an opening on the abdomen through which stool leaves the body An ileostomy can be temporary or permanent. In most cases it is necessary to wear an appliance called an ileostomy bag to collect body wastes.

An ileostomy should not be considered a handicap, although it is an inconvenience. With proper care, there should be no odor or uncleanliness. Thousands of people of every age and of both sexes have had ileostomy surgery. After surgery, people can be just as busy, successful, and involved in daily routines as before surgery; in fact, they may be more active because of improved health.

However, someone with the abnormal genes can be screened for tumours.

However, someone known to have an abnormal HNPCC gene (or others in the family) can be screened for tumours with regular colonoscopy, gastroscopy and hysteroscopy, so problems may be caught much earlier when treatment is more likely to be effective.

Seven genes have been identified as causing the majority of cases of HNPCC: MSH2, MLH1, PMS1, PMS2, MSH6, TGFBR2 and MLH3. Blood tests may be used to detect them. These genes for HNPCC are inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means that a person has a 50% chance of passing the abnormal gene on to each of their children. However this doesn’t mean a 50% chance of cancer in the child as not all those who inherit the genetic mutation will go on to develop cancer.

Antenatal screening is not usually offered.

Follow up  care after surgery:-
Early diagnosis of HNPCC in many patients has led to early surgery, resulting in prevention or cure of colon cancer and increased life span. However, other complications of this hereditary condition may still occur. For example, individuals with HNPCC appear to be at an increased risk for cancer of the endometrium (uterus), ovary, stomach, urinary tract, small bowel, and bile ducts. If you have had surgery for HNPCC, follow the guidelines below.

Exam guidlines for people with HNPCC aand who have had surgery:
1.Sigmoidoscopy every year (depending on type of surgery).

2.Annual hemoccult test.

3.Annual physical exam.

4.For women: annual gynecological exam, including endometrial screening with biopsy (consider vacuum curettage or Pipel biopsy).

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resource:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/hnpcc1.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hereditary_nonpolyposis_colorectal_cancer
http://www.macgn.org/cc_hnpcc1.html

Colorectal cancer(Bowel cancer)

Alternative Names:Bowel cancer,large bowel cancer,colon cancer or “CRC” includes cancerous growths in the colon, rectum and appendix.

What is Cancer?
Cancer is a group of more than 100 different diseases. They affect the body’s basic unit, the cell. Cancer occurs when cells become abnormal and divide without control or order. Like all other organs of the body, the colon and rectum are made up of many types of cells. Normally, cells divide to produce more cells only when the body needs them. This orderly process helps keep us healthy….

If cells keep dividing when new cells are not needed, a mass of tissue forms. This mass of extra tissue, called a growth or tumor, can be benign or malignant.

Benign tumors are not cancer. They can usually be removed and, in most cases, they do not come back. Most important, cells from benign tumors do not spread to other parts of the body. Benign tumors are rarely a threat to life.

Malignant tumors are cancer. Cancer cells can invade and damage tissues and organs near the tumor. Also, cancer cells can break away from a malignant tumor and enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system. This is how cancer spreads from the original (primary) tumor to form new tumors in other parts of the body. The spread of cancer is called metastasis.

When cancer spreads to another part of the body, the new tumor has the same kind of abnormal cells and the same name as the primary tumor. For example, if colon cancer spreads to the liver, the cancer cells in the liver are colon cancer cells. The disease is metastatic colon cancer (it is not liver cancer

Definition :

It is an   Invasive cancers that are confined within the wall of the colon (TNM stages I and II) are curable with surgery. If untreated, they spread to regional lymph nodes (stage III), where up to 73% are curable by surgery and chemotherapy. Cancer that metastasizes to distant sites (stage IV) is usually not curable, although chemotherapy can extend survival, and in rare cases, surgery and chemotherapy together have seen patients through to a cure.[3] Radiation is used with rectal cancer.

…..click to see the pictures

 

On the cellular and molecular level, colorectal cancer starts with a mutation to the Wnt signaling pathway. When Wnt binds to a receptor on the cell, that sets in motion a chain of molecular events that ends with ß-catenin moving into the nucleus and activating a gene on DNA. In colorectal cancer, genes along this chain are damaged. Usually, a gene called APC, which is a “brake” on the Wnt pathway, is damaged. Without a working APC brake, the Wnt pathway is stuck in the “on” position
Invasive cancers that are confined within the wall of the colon (TNM stages I and II) are curable with surgery. If untreated, they spread to regional lymph nodes (stage III), where up to 73% are curable by surgery and chemotherapy. Cancer that metastasizes to distant sites (stage IV) is usually not curable, although chemotherapy can extend survival, and in rare cases, surgery and chemotherapy together have seen patients through to a cure. Radiation is used with rectal cancer.

On the cellular and molecular level, colorectal cancer starts with a mutation to the Wnt signaling pathway. When Wnt binds to a receptor on the cell, that sets in motion a chain of molecular events that ends with ß-catenin moving into the nucleus and activating a gene on DNA. In colorectal cancer, genes along this chain are damaged. Usually, a gene called APC, which is a “brake” on the Wnt pathway, is damaged. Without a working APC brake, the Wnt pathway is stuck in the “on” position.

Most cases of colon cancer begin as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Over time some of these polyps become colon cancers.

Symptoms:
*A change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool for more than a couple of weeks
*Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
*Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
*A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely
*Weakness or fatigue
*Unexplained weight loss

Many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. When symptoms appear, they’ll likely vary, depending on the cancer’s size and location in your large intestine.

Causes:
It’s not very clear what causes colon cancer in most cases. Doctors know that colon cancer occurs when healthy cells in the colon become altered. Healthy cells grow and divide in an orderly way to keep your body functioning normally. But sometimes this growth gets out of control — cells continue dividing even when new cells aren’t needed. In the colon and rectum, this exaggerated growth may cause precancerous cells to form in the lining of your intestine. Over a long period of time — spanning up to several years — some of these areas of abnormal cells may become cancerous.

But doctors are certain that colorectal cancer is not contagious (a person cannot catch the disease from a cancer patient). Some people are more likely to develop colorectal cancer than others. Factors that increase a person’s risk of colorectal cancer include high fat intake, a family history of colorectal cancer and polyps, the presence of polyps in the large intestine, and chronic ulcerative colitis.

Polyps may be small and produce few, if any, symptoms. For this reason, doctors recommend regular screening tests to help prevent colorectal cancer by identifying polyps before they become colorectal cancer.

Risk Factors:
The lifetime risk of developing colon cancer in the United States is about 7%. Certain factors increase a person’s risk of developing the disease. These include:

*Age: The risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with age. Most cases occur in the 60s and 70s, while cases before age 50 are uncommon unless a family history of early colon cancer is present.

*Polyps of the colon, particularly adenomatous polyps, are a risk factor for colon cancer. The removal of colon polyps at the time of colonoscopy reduces the subsequent risk of colon cancer.

*History of cancer. Individuals who have previously been diagnosed and treated for colon cancer are at risk for developing colon cancer in the future. Women who have had cancer of the ovary, uterus, or breast are at higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Heredity:
*Family history of colon cancer, especially in a close relative before the age of 55 or multiple relatives.
*Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) carries a near 100% risk of developing colorectal cancer by the age of 40 if untreated
*Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) or Lynch syndrome
*Gardner syndrome

*Smoking: Smokers are more likely to die of colorectal cancer than nonsmokers. An American Cancer Society study found “Women who smoked were more than 40% more likely to die from colorectal cancer than women who never had smoked. Male smokers had more than a 30% increase in risk of dying from the disease compared to men who never had smoked.”

*Diet: Studies show that a diet high in red meat and low in fresh fruit, vegetables, poultry and fish increases the risk of colorectal cancer. In June 2005, a study by the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition suggested that diets high in red and processed meat, as well as those low in fiber, are associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Individuals who frequently eat fish showed a decreased risk. However, other studies have cast doubt on the claim that diets high in fiber decrease the risk of colorectal cancer; rather, low-fiber diet was associated with other risk factors, leading to confounding. The nature of the relationship between dietary fiber and risk of colorectal cancer remains controversial.

*Lithocholic acid: Lithocholic acid is a bile acid that acts as a detergent to solubilize fats for absorption. It is made from chenodeoxycholic acid by bacterial action in the colon. It has been implicated in human and experimental animal carcinogenesis. Carbonic acid type surfactants easily combine with calcium ion and become detoxication products.

*Physical inactivity: People who are physically active are at lower risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Viruses: Exposure to some viruses (such as particular strains of human papilloma virus) may be associated with colorectal cancer.[citation needed]
Primary sclerosing cholangitis offers a risk independent to ulcerative colitis.
Low levels of selenium.

*Inflammatory bowel disease: About one percent of colorectal cancer patients have a history of chronic ulcerative colitis. The risk of developing colorectal cancer varies inversely with the age of onset of the colitis and directly with the extent of colonic involvement and the duration of active disease. Patients with colorectal Crohn’s disease have a more than average risk of colorectal cancer, but less than that of patients with ulcerative colitis.

*Environmental factors. Industrialized countries are at a relatively increased risk compared to less developed countries that traditionally had high-fiber/low-fat diets. Studies of migrant populations have revealed a role for environmental factors, particularly dietary, in the etiology of colorectal cancers.

*Exogenous hormones. The differences in the time trends in colorectal cancer in males and females could be explained by cohort effects in exposure to some gender-specific risk factor; one possibility that has been suggested is exposure to estrogens. There is, however, little evidence of an influence of endogenous hormones on the risk of colorectal cancer. In contrast, there is evidence that exogenous estrogens such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), tamoxifen, or oral contraceptives might be associated with colorectal tumors.

*Alcohol: Drinking, especially heavily, may be a risk factor.

*Vitamin B6 intake is inversely associated with the risk of colorectal cancer.

Diagnosis:
If your signs and symptoms indicate that you could have colon cancer, your doctor may recommend one of more tests and procedures, including:

*Blood tests. Your doctor may order blood tests to better understand what may be causing your signs and symptoms, but there are no blood tests that can detect colon cancer. Blood tests may include a complete blood count and organ-function tests.

*Using a scope to examine the inside of your colon. Colonoscopy uses a long, flexible and slender tube attached to a video camera and monitor to view your entire colon and rectum. If any suspicious areas are found, your doctor can pass surgical tools through the tube to take tissue samples (biopsies) for analysis.

*Using dye and X-rays to make a picture of your colon. A barium enema allows your doctor to evaluate your entire colon with an X-ray. Barium, a contrast dye, is placed into your bowel in an enema form. During a double-contrast barium enema, air also is added. The barium fills and coats the lining of the bowel, creating a clear silhouette of your rectum, colon and sometimes a small portion of your small intestine.

*Using multiple CT images to create a picture of your colon. Virtual colonoscopy combines multiple computerized tomography (CT) images to create a detailed picture of the inside of your colon. If you’re unable to undergo colonoscopy, your doctor may recommend virtual colonoscopy.

Staging colon cancer.
Once you’ve been diagnosed with colon cancer, your doctor will then order tests to determine the extent, or stage, of your cancer. Staging helps determine what treatments are most appropriate for you. Staging tests may include imaging procedures such as abdominal and chest CT scans. In many cases, the stage of your cancer may not be determined until after colon cancer surgery.

The stages of colon cancer are:

*Stage 0. Your cancer is in the earliest stage. It hasn’t grown beyond the inner layer (mucosa) of your colon or rectum. This stage of cancer may also be called carcinoma in situ.
*Stage I. Your cancer has grown through the mucosa but hasn’t spread beyond the colon wall or rectum.
*Stage II. Your cancer has grown into or through the wall of the colon or rectum but hasn’t spread to nearby lymph nodes.
*Stage III. Your cancer has invaded nearby lymph nodes but isn’t affecting other parts of your body yet.
*Stage IV. Your cancer has spread to distant sites, such as other organs — for instance to your liver or lung.
*Recurrent. This means your cancer has come back after treatment. It may recur in your colon, rectum or other part of your body.
Treatment:
The main treatment option for Colorectal cancer  is surgery – if the disease can be caught before it breaks through the bowel wall, chances of success are much higher.

Usually, the piece of bowel that contains the cancer is removed and the two open ends are joined back together. This operation is called a bowel resection.

If the two sections can’t be joined back together, often because the tumour is too low, the bowel can be brought out through the abdominal wall. This is called a stoma, which is connected to a colostomy bag. Although this procedure is more likely after removal of a tumour in the rectum, it isn’t always necessary and may only be temporary. In these cases, further treatment may not be necessary.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are increasingly being used to treat bowel cancer in addition to surgery, especially in more advanced tumours. For example, a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy may be given before surgery for rectal cancer. This is known as neo-adjuvant therapy and may reduce the risk of recurrence and improve survival rates.

How well patients do after treatment depends on the stage the cancer has reached. Survival rates have improved in the past 30 years, but overall survival is still only about 50 per cent at five years. However, when bowel cancer is caught early – before it has spread to other organs such as the liver or the lungs – the chances of recovery are more than 80 per cent.

Alternative Medication:
No complementary or alternative treatments have been found to cure colon cancer.

Alternative treatments may help you cope with a diagnosis of colon cancer. Nearly all people with cancer experience some distress. Common signs and symptoms of distress after your diagnosis might include sadness, anger, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping and loss of appetite. Alternative treatments may help redirect your thoughts away from your fears, at least temporarily, to give you some relief.

Alternative treatments that may help relieve distress include:

*Art therapy
*Dance or movement therapy
*Exercise
*Meditation
*Music therapy
*Relaxation exercises

Your doctor can refer you to professionals who can help you learn about and try these alternative treatments. Tell your doctor if you’re experiencing distress.

Prognosis:
Survival is directly related to detection and the type of cancer involved, but overall is poor for symptomatic cancers, as they are typically quite advanced. Survival rates for early stage detection is about 5 times that of late stage cancers. For example, patients with a tumor that has not breached the muscularis mucosa (TNM stage T1-2, N0, M0) have an average 5-year survival of approximately 90%. Those with a more invasive tumor, yet without node involvement (T3-4, N0, M0) have an average 5-year survival of approximately 70%. Patients with positive regional lymph nodes (any T, N1-3, M0) have an average 5-year survival of approximately 40%, while those with distant metastases (any T, any N, M1) have an average 5-year survival of approximately 5%.

CEA level is also directly related to the prognosis of disease, since its level correlates with the bulk of tumor tissue.

Follow Up:
The aims of follow-up are to diagnose, in the earliest possible stage, any metastasis or tumors that develop later, but did not originate from the original cancer (metachronous lesions).

The U.S. National Comprehensive Cancer Network and American Society of Clinical Oncology provide guidelines for the follow-up of colon cancer.[93][94] A medical history and physical examination are recommended every 3 to 6 months for 2 years, then every 6 months for 5 years. Carcinoembryonic antigen blood level measurements follow the same timing, but are only advised for patients with T2 or greater lesions who are candidates for intervention. A CT-scan of the chest, abdomen and pelvis can be considered annually for the first 3 years for patients who are at high risk of recurrence (for example, patients who had poorly differentiated tumors or venous or lymphatic invasion) and are candidates for curative surgery (with the aim to cure). A colonoscopy can be done after 1 year, except if it could not be done during the initial staging because of an obstructing mass, in which case it should be performed after 3 to 6 months. If a villous polyp, a polyp >1 centimeter or high grade dysplasia is found, it can be repeated after 3 years, then every 5 years. For other abnormalities, the colonoscopy can be repeated after 1 year.

Routine PET or ultrasound scanning, chest X-rays, complete blood count or liver function tests are not recommended. These guidelines are based on recent meta-analyses showing intensive surveillance and close follow-up can reduce the 5-year mortality rate from 37% to 30%.

Prevention:
People are encouraged to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, as this appears to reduce the risk. A high-fibre diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables and carbohydrates (pasta, bread, rice) is believed to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Moderate amounts of exercise may also protect against bowel cancer.

Eating a diet high in saturated fat and red meat, and low in fibre, smoking and being overweight, increases your risk as does drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

Eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day is thought to protect against this and many different cancers through the benefits of the antioxidant vitamins and minerals they contain.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

 

Resources:
http://www.medicinenet.com/colon_cancer/article.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorectal_cancer
http://search.myway.com/search/GGmain.jhtml?pg=AJmain&action=click&searchfor=colorectal+cancer&ss=sub&st=site&ct=TG
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/cancer/typescancer_bowel.shtml
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/colon-cancer/DS00035

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/cancer/typescancer_bowel.shtml

http://www.khg2.net/colon-cancer/

http://www.metrohealth.org/body.cfm?id=1628&oTopID=1616

Aspirin ‘Helps Protect Against Bowel Cancer’


A daily aspirin tablet may help prevent bowel cancer, a study suggests.

Oxford University found it cut cases by a quarter and deaths by more than a third in a review of 14,000 patients.

Aspirins are already widely used to help protect people against strokes and heart problems, although many healthy middle-aged people do not take them because of the risk of side-effects.

But researchers said their findings – published by the Lancet – “tipped the balance” in favour of taking them.

They followed up four study groups over a period of 20 years to identify the impact of regular small doses of of the drug – the tablets given for medical reasons are often a quarter of a strength of those used to treat headaches.

They found it reduced the risk of the incidence of bowel cancer by 24% and of dying from the disease by 35%.

And even though regular aspirin use can have side-effects, the researchers said it was still worthwhile as on such low doses these tended to be relatively minor, such as bruising or nose bleeds.

One in 20 people in the UK develops bowel cancer over their lifetime, making it the third most common cancer. About 16,000 people die each year as a result of it.

The findings build on previous research on the issue, and come after the government announced earlier this month it was looking to start a new screening programme for bowel cancer for 55-year-olds.

Lead researcher Professor Peter Rothwell said the screening would provide the perfect opportunity for doctors to discuss with their patients about whether to take aspirin.
He said:-“To date, for healthy middle-aged people it has been a fine balance as to whether to take aspirins, but this tips it in my view.

“There is a small benefit for vascular disease and now we know a big benefit for this cancer. In the future, I am sure it will be shown that aspirin helps prevent other cancers too.”

‘Talk to GP

He added those with a high risk of bowel cancer, including the obese and those with a family history of the disease, should give aspirin treatment a particular consideration.

Mark Flannagan, chief executive of Beating Bowel Cancer, said they were “very positive” findings and giving aspirin alongside the new screening programme should be looked at.

But he added: “Anyone considering starting a course of medication should first consult their GP.”

You may click to see :Bowel cancer risk gene pinpointed

Source : BBC News

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An Increase in Leptin Could Promote Colorectal Cancer

While researchers have known that obesity increases the risk for the development of colon cancer, the underlying molecular mechanisms have remained unclear.
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Now, for the first time, researchers have found that an increase in leptin, a cytokine that is normally increased in obese or overweight individuals, may promote colorectal neoplasms by activating colorectal cancer stem cells.

Cancer stem cells constitute a small subfraction of tumor cells that are characterized by long lifespan and capacity for self-renewal, and are responsible for tumor development, resistance to treatments and cancer recurrence. In colon cancer, leptin is able to increase the growth, survival, and resistance to certain chemotherapy treatments in this key cell population.

Leptin, a fat tissue-derived pluripotent cytokine regulating appetite and energy balance in the brain, also controls many physiological and pathological processes in peripheral organs, including carcinogenesis.

Colon cancer has increased in developed countries, possibly due to sedentary lifestyles and high caloric diets. Prior research has linked obesity to colorectal cancer risk by .4-1.0 fold in men and up to 2.0 fold in premenopausal women.

“Since targeting cancer stem cells may be a translationally relevant strategy to improve clinical outcomes, interfering with leptin signaling by targeting leptin receptors might become a novel attractive option for colorectal cancer treatment, particularly in obese patients,” says senior author of the study, Eva Surmacz.

“It is important to consider that cancer stem cells have been identified in several human malignancies,” says Monica Bartucci, study co-author. “Understanding how cancer stem cells interact with a tumor environment, including hormones like leptin, is likely to have significant implications for treatment management of different cancer types in human patients. We hope, in collaboration with Dr. Surmacz, not only to test the effects of leptin antagonist compounds on colon cancer stem cells but also to study the results of leptin stimulation on cancer stem cells isolated in other cancer tissues.”

Source: Elements4Health

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