Complications of Colon Cancer & Rectal Cancer
Colon cancer develops in the tissue of the large intestinal region of the digestive system. It is one of the most common cancers in the United States and a leading cause of death. In 2009 alone, out of 106,100 cases, 49,920 were fatal. Treatment for such a devastating disease consists of radiation therapy, biotherapy, chemotherapy, and in some cases, surgery. These stringent methods of treatment are often known to take a toll on the human body, causing severe complications and side effects.
The progression from early to later stages of this disease also plays a major contributing role in complications from colon cancer. This article will provide you with a better understanding of the different kinds of complications involved with this disease and their causes. A large number of them rarely occur; however, education regarding these complications will help you to make prompt and responsible decisions to manage your health in the event of contracting this disease.
Complications of Surgery
Undergoing surgery to remedy colon cancer may result in urinary retention, infections, bleeding, pain, and leaking from the surgical area. However, surgery is oftentimes the fastest way of eliminating the spread of the disease if it is concentrated in a specific area in the body.
Complication of Biotherapy and Chemotherapy
Chemo and biotherapy are common methods of cancer treatment; Side effects include the inability to fight-off allergic reactions and infections, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. These types of radiation therapy are also very damaging to the skin, causing burning, irritation, tissue destruction, and bleeding. However, chemotherapy can be the best method of curbing the spread of disease through the body in middle to later stages when no other options are available.
Intestinal Blockage May Also Occur. What Causes It?
A common complication of abdominal surgery is intestinal blockages. These occur in up to 80% of individuals who have had any abdominal surgery. The scarring that forms between the intestinal loops, known as adhesions, may force the intestines to conform in essentially a kinked manner, leading to a blockage.
Metastasis May Result As A Complication
Metastasis occurs when the malignant cells break apart from the cancerous tumor and circulate through the bloodstream, infecting other regions of the body. Although metastasis of colon cancer may travel to any part of the body, it is commonly found in the lungs and the liver.
The Risk of Complications from Recurrence
If microscopic cells from the tumor remain after surgery, then the tumor may recur in the same location it was resected from.
Seek Your Colorectal Specialist to Discuss Your Condition and Avoid Complications
Moreover, being familiar with these complications of colon cancer will make you better prepared to receive a diagnosis and treatment on time. Your colorectal specialist is the best person to pinpoint obscured complications that may go unnoticed by general practitioners. A timely and accurate diagnosis could make all the difference in saving your life.