Diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer
What is it done after a colon cancer is diagnosed?
When colon cancer is diagnosed and its benign or malignant nature is usually confirmed by biopsy, it is usually treated by surgery, accompanied by radiotherapy or chemotherapy and specific drugs.
We must bear in mind that if there is a tumor, whether cancerous or not, it is usually removed to prevent it from evolving to malignant (in case it was not initially when it was discovered).
This extirpation alters the habitual transit of the intestinal system, leading to have to look for an alternative route, while the surgery is healing.
Types of Surgeries for Colon Cancer
This alternative route of intestinal transit is usually performed and restored by an ostomy and / or by an anastomosis (union of two tissues), or with excision surgery.
WHAT IS AN OSTOMY?
An ostomy is an opening that is performed by surgery, placing the intestinal tube towards the abdominal wall, making an exit orifice for the stool.
Types of ostomy
When an ostomy is performed at the digestive level they are given a specific name depending on the sectioned portion and which flows out the exterior of the abdominal area.
There are the following intestinal ostomies:
Duodenostomy (involves the duodenum or the initial part of the small intestine).
Yeyunostomy (involves the jejunum, that is the middle part of the small intestine).
Ileostomy (involves the ileum, the final part of the small intestine).
Cecostomy (involves the cecum. It is a valve that separates the end of the small intestine from the initial part of the large intestine) Only performed in very specific cases, to relieve fluids and gases. It can be problematic and difficult.
- Colostomy: Involves the colon. Depending on the colon section, we have:
– Ascending colostomy (involves the ascending colon, which is the initial part of the large intestine).
– Transverse colostomy (involves the transverse colon, which is the mid-horizontal part of the large intestine).
– Descending colostomy (involves the descending colon, which is the final-vertical part of the large intestine).
– Sigmoid colostomy or sigmoidostomy (involves the sigmo, which is the final ‘S’ part of the large intestine).
When a colon cancer appears, the ostomies that more are realized are those that comprise the zones between the ileum and the sigmo.
Temporary or definitive ostomies
Depending on the individual characteristics of each patient, the type of cancer, the size of the tumor, the location, etc. a system or other of those mentioned is chosen to recover the intestinal transit.
Ostomies are used to derive the course of elimination of feces and may be temporary or definitive.
Initially they are usually performed with a temporary purpose, for example, if there is any involvement in the intestinal system such as a sore or a tumor that has been removed, etc.
As a result of deriving the passage of the intestinal contents, the affected area is free of feces, and can recover that tissue more easily.
If, for whatever reason or unexpected complication, the temporary problem is not solved, it can sometimes become definitive or even involve another type of surgery.
WHAT IS AN EXCISION SURGERY?
Surgery in the large intestine is a treatment technique that is performed in both malignant tumors and benign tumors. In the latter case, it is usually an excision surgery that is performed as prevention, to prevent it from degenerating into a malignant tumor.
Types of excision surgery
This type of excision surgery is definitive. The damaged tissue is sectioned, removing it and attaching the remaining healthy tissue, to restore intestinal transit. It can cover part of the colon or its entirety. Depending on the excised part, they are denominated:
– Sigmoidectomy (involves the part of the sigmo, the descending colon is anastomosed with the rectum).
– Hemicolectomy (involves half of the colon):
– Right hemicolectomy (involves the cecum, ascending colon and part of the transverse, the ileum or the ileocecal valve anastomosed with the non-excised part of the transverse colon).
– Left hemicolectomy (involves part of the transverse colon, the descending and the sigmo, anastomosing the non-excised part of the transverse colon with the rectum).
– Total colectomy (involves the whole colon, the ileum is anastomosed with the rectum).
– Proctocolectomy (involves the entire colon and rectum, the ileum is anastomosed with the anus).
– Proctocolectomy and excision of the anus (involves the entire colon, rectum and anus. An ostomy is performed, that is to say the ileum is anastomated, and an amputation is performed in the abdomen-peritoneal area).
* Related information:
More information on colon cancer.