Large intestine cancer сan be prevented still at the stage of polyps at Slavmed MC

Laparoscopic onco coloproctology was introduced at Slavmed medical center. Levon Grigoryan, a general and laparoscopic surgeon told about this in his conversation with Medicine.

The surgeon noted that colorectal cancer is the third most common malignant cancer in Armenia among the primary cancers after breast and lung malignancy. It is the most frequent cause of cancer death after stomach cancer.

Unlike other cancer cases, early detection of colon cancer and screening tests are available and very informative and in case of proper treatment plan development a colon cancer can be prevented in the early stage and before polyps turn into cancer, since in majority of cases colon cancer accrues due to ignored polyps”, he said.

When asked whether the colon cancer surgery is always ending with colostomy formation, and the patient has to deal with it, the doctor said that if cancer was detected in the early stage and there was no intestinal obstruction, anemia, abdominal inflammation processes, then in the majority of cases the need for colostomy does not occur.

But when a patient applies already with such issues as obstipation, filled and tensed colon, progressive infection, it is necessary to place a colostomy. In such cases, the formation of stoma can be temporary and enables favorable conditions for restoring the integrity of the gastrointestinal tract. There are also cases of such a location of tumor when the anus is completely being removed. In such a case, a permanent colostomy is being placed.

As Dr. Grigoryan mentioned, right colon cancer can develop over a long time without symptoms, without troubling the patient, and is diagnosed in a rather spread form. In case of left or straight intestine cancer the symptoms appear in the relatively early stage.

Patient’s complaints may be of general nature due to oncological intoxication:

– general weakness

– rapid fatigability

– want of appetite

– weight loss non-related to other factors

– moderate fever (37-37.2 degrees C)

– indigestion, nausea

Specific complaints may also be viewed:

– constipation, diarrhea

– fecal blood

– pain in the abdomen cavity

According to the physician, pain is not always the first symptom of cancer, and it’s not always so strong that the patient immediately goes to the doctor. Colorectal cancer symptoms may be acute and chronic. The doctor advises you to get cured before the acute symptoms occur and seek medical advice in case of the slightest suspicion. According to the physician, the golden standard of diagnostic of colon cancer is colonoscopy, an endoscopic examination of the colon. During this study, the doctor uses a colonoscopy, a long, flexible, tubular instrument about 1/2-inch in diameter that transmits an image of the lining of the colon so the doctor can examine it for any abnormalities. As Levon Grigoryan added, colonoscopy is also a therapeutic method. If cancer is suspected during the examination, biopsy is performed and the substance is taken for laboratory testing. In case of detection of benign formation of polyps, intestinal mucous membranes, their removal with the patient’s consent is possible immediately during colonoscopy.

It is desirable to use a multidisciplinary team approach to determine the tactics of cancer treatment. If cancer is detected in the earlier 0-1 stage, it can be removed by endoscopic method, ensuring good results. If the issue is colon cancer in the 2nd stage, then extensive surgery (laparoscopic or upfront) should be performed with the removal of regional lymph nodes. The substance removed after the operation is definitely sent to the study to determine the exact stage of the disease and to determine the future treatment strategy.

“If the issue is progressive cancer in the 4th stage with distant metastatic involvement, then the treatment tactics will be determined by improving the quality of life of the patient and the expected outcome. The nature of surgeries is mostly palliative and if there is no opportunity to improve the quality of life of a patient, sometimes the decision of not performing a surgery is accepted”, he said.