What to do incase of Bowel Cancer?

  • January 22, 2024
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What to do incase of  Bowel Cancer?

What is Bowel Cancer?

Colorectal cancer, commonly known as bowel cancer, is a prevalent malignancy originating in the colon or rectum, ranking as the third most common cancer globally. Typically commencing as non-cancerous polyps, these growths carry the potential to transform into cancerous cells over time. The colon, responsible for transporting digested food to the rectum, serves as the primary site for this type of cancer.

Healthcare professionals employ screening tests to proactively detect precancerous polyps, preventing their progression into cancerous tumors. Timely intervention, coupled with innovative treatment methods, has contributed to a decline in mortality rates associated with colorectal cancer. Regular screenings play a vital role in identifying and managing precancerous developments, ensuring prompt treatment and minimizing the risk of the disease advancing to more challenging stages. These proactive measures have significantly improved public health outcomes, reducing the impact of colorectal cancer on individuals worldwide.

Why is Bowel Cancer a Concern?

The concern surrounding bowel cancer lies in its insidious nature, often presenting limited symptoms in its early stages. This lack of noticeable symptoms can lead to late-stage diagnosis when the disease has already advanced. Consequently, understanding the risk factors and recognizing early signs become crucial for timely intervention.

How to Identify Bowel Cancer?

Early detection is paramount for successful treatment of bowel cancer. Recognizing signs and symptoms is vital in identifying the disease in its initial stages. Common indicators include changes in bowel habits such as persistent diarrhea or constipation, blood in the stool, abdominal pain or discomfort, unexplained weight loss, and fatigue. Regular screenings, particularly colonoscopies, are recommended for individuals with a family history of bowel cancer or those at higher risk due to age or other factors.

Treatment Solutions for Bowel Cancer


  1. Surgery remains a cornerstone in the treatment of bowel cancer. The primary objective is to remove the cancerous tissue along with a margin of healthy tissue to ensure the complete elimination of cancer cells. In cases where the cancer is extensive or located in a challenging area, a colostomy may be performed. This involves creating an opening in the abdominal wall to redirect the bowel, allowing waste to be collected in an external bag.
  2. Surgical interventions can vary, ranging from minimally invasive procedures like laparoscopic surgery to more traditional open surgeries, depending on the size and location of the tumor.


  1. Chemotherapy employs powerful drugs to either destroy cancer cells or impede their growth. It is a versatile treatment used at different stages of bowel cancer. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy may be administered before surgery to shrink tumors, making them more manageable. Adjuvant chemotherapy follows surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells, while palliative chemotherapy is employed for advanced cases to alleviate symptoms and slow the cancer's progression.
  2. While chemotherapy can be effective, it often comes with side effects such as nausea, fatigue, hair loss, and susceptibility to infections. The management of these side effects is a crucial aspect of ensuring the patient's well-being during treatment.

Radiation Therapy:

  1. Radiation therapy involves the use of high-energy rays to target and destroy cancer cells. It is commonly used in conjunction with surgery or chemotherapy to enhance treatment outcomes. External beam radiation, where the rays are directed at the cancer from outside the body, and brachytherapy, where radioactive material is placed directly near or inside the cancer, are two primary approaches to radiation therapy.
  2. The choice of radiation therapy depends on factors such as the tumor's location, size, and stage, as well as the patient's overall health. Radiation therapy may cause side effects like fatigue, skin changes, and digestive issues, which are typically temporary and manageable.

Targeted Therapy:

  1. Targeted therapy is a relatively newer approach that focuses on specific molecules involved in cancer growth. By targeting these molecules, the treatment aims to disrupt the signaling pathways that allow cancer cells to thrive. Targeted therapy can be used in combination with chemotherapy or as a standalone treatment, particularly in cases where other treatments have been less effective.
  2. Unlike traditional chemotherapy, targeted therapy often has fewer side effects and can be more specific in its action. However, it is essential to note that not all bowel cancers have specific targets for this type of treatment.

Benefits of Seeking Timely Treatment for Bowel Cancer

  1. Increased Survival Rates: Timely intervention significantly improves the chances of survival for individuals diagnosed with bowel cancer. Early detection allows for more effective treatment strategies, preventing the disease from advancing to later stages where the prognosis may be less favorable.
  2. Improved Quality of Life: Beyond increasing survival rates, timely treatment enhances the overall quality of life for individuals with bowel cancer. Managing the disease effectively and addressing its symptoms contribute to a better physical and emotional well-being for the patient.
  3. Reduced Treatment Intensity: Early-stage bowel cancer often requires less aggressive treatment compared to advanced cases. Timely intervention allows for a more targeted and less intensive approach, minimizing the impact of treatment on the patient's overall health. This can result in a more comfortable and manageable experience during the course of treatment.
  4. Prevention of Cancer Spread: Seeking timely treatment helps prevent the spread of cancer to other organs or tissues. By addressing the disease early, treatment can be more focused and effective, reducing the complexity of intervention and improving the likelihood of completely eradicating the cancer.

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