If you or your loved one have recently been diagnosed with colon cancer, it is likely you have many questions you need answered. You may be wondering what you may have done that triggered the sickness. First, be assured that you can still have a productive life. In this article, learn what colon cancer is, the cause, whether it is curable, and when to see a colorectal surgeon in Los Angeles.
What is Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestines. Most cancers commence as small benign cells called adenomatous polyps. With time, these polyps can become cancerous. The polyps can be small and exhibit very minimal symptoms hence, it is advisable to go for regular screening to identify and remove any polyps before they become cancerous.
Causes of Colon Cancer
Most often, the cause is not always clear, however, what is known is that the healthy colon cells develop errors in their DNA. Healthy cells continue to divide uncontrollably and form tumors which destroy nearby normal tissues. The cancerous cells can travel to other body parts and form deposits referred to as metastasis.
Additionally, you may inherit gene mutations which increase your risk of getting colon cancer. The familial genes don’t necessarily mean you will get cancer but they do, however, increase your risk to a significant level.
Is Colon Cancer Curable?
The first thing you need to do is to get an appointment with an oncologist. The doctor will examine you and run tests to determine what stage the cancer has reached. If the tests results indicate you need surgery, then the oncologist will arrange for a colorectal surgeon in Los Angeles to examine you further and explain what the surgical procedure will entail as well as what it will achieve.
In addition to surgery, you will be treated with radiation, targeted therapies, chemotherapies, or a combination of all the treatments. If your body does not respond or stops responding to these treatments, your doctor will try other treatment options.
Once you are done with the treatment, you will need to go for follow-up visits. One reason to see the doctor is to ensure that the side effects of the treatment are well managed. Further, your doctor will do more tests to make sure that the cancer does not recur. However, there is a likelihood of colon cancer recurring within the first five years after treatment.
What to do after treatment
If the cancer does not recur, you will want to maintain the status quo. Visit your doctor regularly for early detection as it will be easier to treat the cancer then. If you notice any symptoms, call the doctor immediately. Stay healthy by following these tips:
- Quit smoking
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Exercise regularly
- Get all cancer screening tests recommended by your doctor
- Maintain a healthy weight
If you feel that you need more information and reassurance, do not hesitate to visit colorectal surgeon in Los Angeles. The specialist will walk you through what to expect in treatment and outcome.