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Before cancer tissue develops in the large intestine, bumps called polyps form in the inner surface of the intestine. These polyps can change over the years and turn into cancerous tissue. Polyps can be safely removed during colonoscopy when they are small before they show cancerous transformation, and this completely relieves the patient of disease. For this reason, it may be life-saving to have screening colonoscopies from the age of 40 and to remove possible polyps to be detected in the same session. It should be noted that the best treatment is early treatment. 

Colon cancers are classified according to their depth in the intestinal wall and spread (metastasis) to other organs, and the treatment is planned accordingly. The disease spreads locally to the lymph nodes in the large intestine mesentery, and distantly to the liver, lung, bone and brain, respectively. In cases where the disease is limited to the intestinal wall from time to time, only surgical treatment may be sufficient, if regional or distant metastases have developed, medication and radiation therapy are also used together with surgery.  _cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

Surgery, drug therapy (chemotherapy), and radiation therapy (radiotherapy) are used together in the treatment of all colon cancers. The stage of the disease is decisive in this regard. There are differences in treatment approaches between colon and rectum cancers.

Cancer is abnormal masses formed by the uncontrolled growth of cells in any organ. Cancers of the large intestine are among the most common of all cancer types. They can give a wide variety of symptoms:

  1. Bleeding from the breech. For this reason, their detection may be delayed in the presence of hemorrhoid disease or anal fissure (crack). Therefore, when a diagnosis of hemorrhoid disease or anal fissure is made, especially if the patient is over 40 years of age, a mass-tumor that will cause bleeding in the large intestine should be investigated by colonoscopy.

  2. Anemia. Tumors on the right side of the large intestine, in particular, cause a decrease in blood values and anemia, although they do not cause significant bleeding because they bleed little by little.

  3. Change in bowel habits. Tumors in the large intestine can manifest with changes in the defecation habits that the person has been accustomed to until then. A person who makes a big toilet once a day, goes to the toilet 3 times a day in a short time or diarrhea-constipation attacks may be a symptom of the tumor.  

  4. Fecal-wide thinning. Especially in tumors in the rectum, a decrease in the diameter of the stool can be seen as a result of the tumor narrowing the diameter of the intestine.

  5. Inability to pass gas and stool. In cases where the tumor completely obstructs the intestine, patients can apply to the Emergency Department. 

  6. Weight loss. Severe weight loss that is unexpected in a short time can be a symptom.

Although rectal cancer is structurally similar to colon cancer, there are significant differences in treatment approaches. The principle and goal of surgical treatment is the same: to remove the diseased area without leaving any visible cancerous tissue behind. However, the anatomical features of the rectum, treatment modalities and methods vary. The rectum is an organ that is not free in the abdomen like the colon, but is located in the pit (Pelvis) inside the pelvis and is surrounded by an adipose tissue sheath. Since it is a fixed organ, radiation therapy (radiotherapy) also plays an important role in the treatment. Unlike colon cancer, patients with rectal tumors are given chemotherapy and radiotherapy, sometimes only radiotherapy (neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy), even if they are not very advanced, in order to prevent the recurrence of the disease after surgery. Only in most early-stage tumors, direct surgery is performed. After the neoadjuvant treatment, surgery is performed after waiting for a while, and then chemotherapy is continued. If there are distant metastases, the main goal is to remove all of these metastases, just like in colon cancer. Chemotherapy is continued after removal of metastases.

Rectal surgeries can also be performed openly or laparoscopically. The laparoscopic method in the treatment of these surgeries has not yet been accepted as the first choice treatment all over the world. However, it is recommended to be performed by experienced surgeons and is more comfortable for the patient.


In rectal surgeries, temporary and sometimes permanent bag application (colostomy-ileostomy) can be performed. In tumors located in the middle and lower 1/3 of the rectum, the temporary bag is frequently applied and closed within 2 months. In tumors very close to the anus, a permanent colostomy may be required by closing the anus completely.

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