The human digestive tract consists of several parts, where the largest part is the large intestine (colon). The large intestine is the place where the last nutrient is absorbed and where the residual substance is formed before being transferred to the rectum and then discharged through the anus. Colorectal cancer is one of the most serious diseases that can occur in the large intestine and rectum.
What is colorectal cancer?
Colorectal cancer is the term for cancer growth that begins with the growth of abnormal cells (tumors) that spread and damage surrounding cells in the mucosal lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. Colorectal cancer can be colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where the cancer first appeared. Both have many similarities as the process of growth and the form of cancer.
How common is colorectal cancer?
In general, men and women do not have a much different risk. But in Indonesia, cases of colorectal cancer are more experienced by men than women with an estimated prevalence of 19.1 per 100,000 population compared to 15.6 per 100,000 population for women. Like cancer in general, colorectal cancer is experienced by individuals with advanced age.
Signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer
At the beginning of the tumor and when the phase changes to cancer cells, symptoms usually do not occur in patients. Symptoms of colorectal cancer will appear after the cancer spreads and causes damage to the body. Some symptoms that sufferers may experience are:
# Changes in the activity of the digestive system accompanied by diarrhea, constipation, or the amount of stool released too little and lasts several days.
# The stomach feels still sick after defecating.
# Out of blood from the anus, dark stools, or the discovery of blood in the stool.
# Often experience abdominal pain or cramps.
# Sudden weight loss.
# Having anemia due to decreased blood cell count.
These symptoms often arise due to other factors that are experienced by colorectal cancer patients. But if you experience these symptoms, immediately consult a doctor for further examination.
The appearance and spread of colorectal cancer
Most colorectal cancers begin with the growth of small lumps (polyps) on the inside of the large intestine or rectum. Most polyps do not develop into cancer, only certain types can become cancerous, namely adenomatous polyp, hyperplastic poly, p and inflammatory polyps. As many as 95% of colorectal cancer cells originate from adenomatous polyp and develop into adenocarcinoma.
Cancer cells in the colon and rectum grow in the deepest layers of organs (mucosa) and continue to grow affecting all layers. If cancer cells have grown to reach the blood vessels of the organ, then cancer cells easily spread (metastasis) and damage the body’s resistance around by attacking the lymph nodes or further organs. The development of colorectal cancer can be assessed based on tumor growth in the lining of the large intestine or rectum wall, the spread of cancer cells to affect lymph nodes around cancer cells, and how far the spread of cancer cells in the organs of the body. Usually colorectal cancer cells can spread to the liver and lungs.