Monday, June 04, 2012
Get Informed About Colorectal Cancer
When you think of living a healthy lifestyle, it’s regular exercise and a healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables – as well as whole grains and legumes – are healthy foods and great for colon health and, believe it or not, a healthy colon can be key to a healthy lifestyle. Colorectal cancers are the second leading cancer killer in the United States, and they’re on the rise. Many feel that the growing prevalence of obesity in our society is partly to blame.
Colorectal cancer is any cancer that develops in the tissues of the colon or rectum, which are both part of the body’s intestinal tract. The colon is the large part of the intestine, while the rectum consti¬tutes the last six inches of the large, lower intestine.
When colon cancer spreads beyond a polyp (a small growth within the colon), surgery is the most common first treatment. For most patients, laparoscopic surgery using only small incisions is a surgical option. Physicians at Covenant Health are specially trained to perform this type of surgery.
“More than 90 percent of colon cancer patients are candidates for laparoscopy,” explains Fort Sanders Regional surgical oncologist Dr. Greg Midis. “It is critical that patients seek out a surgeon who does laparoscopy for colon surgery regularly.”
The incisions made for lap¬aroscopic surgeries are typically just one-fourth or one-third of the length of what surgeons call “open” surgery. That can result in quicker healing and often as much as a 50 percent shorter hospital stay, says Dr. Midis. If cancer is in the rectum, however, Dr. Midis adds that open surgery is the most common approach.
“The best way to avoid a big or little surgery is to get your colonoscopy,” advises Dr. Midis. “A colonoscopy test is a key to catch¬ing colorectal cancer and other intestinal problems early.”
During a colonoscopy, a colonoscope (a thin tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing) is inserted in the rectum and colon. The colonoscope also has a tool to remove polyps and take tissue samples that can be checked for cancer. Because the colonoscope can remove a polyp during the test, it can often prevent the need for more extensive surgery later.
For more information about diagnosing and treating colorectal cancer, call (865) 541-4500.
Arm Yourself with More Information
If you or a loved one has been recently diagnosed with colorectal cancer, or have been battling colorectal cancer for some time and are exploring your treatment options, you have come to the right place. An education kit is available from Thompson Cancer Survival Center. It’s free and can be requested at (865) 374-TCSC (8272).
TCSC offers specialized, comprehensive approach to colorectal cancer treatment. Patients are treated like family. Doctors and practitioners strive to empower with information, listen to concerns, and deliver an integrative colorectal treatment plan tailored to the patient’s needs.
Call for your kit and learn the facts about colon cancer today.