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Tests and Investigations for Colon Cancer

Colon is a muscular, tube-shaped organ located at the lower part of your digestive system. The organ has a key role in helping the body taking in nutrients, water, and minerals. It also helps in removing waste of the body in the form of stool.

Colon cancer is the growth of malignant tumor in the tissue of the colon (in the inner wall of the organ).

Colon cancer symptoms aggravate as the malignancy heads toward the later stage. The asymptomatic illness suddenly becomes filled with disturbing manifestations, particularly abdominal pain that is present even during the earlier stage of Colon cancer.

It is important to note that most of colon cancer cases start as small, noncancerous clumps of cells known as polyps. By time some of these polyps could become cancers.

Signs and Symptoms
  • Slimmer size of feces
  • Feeling of abdominal fullness or incomplete bowel emptying
  • Abrupt weight reduction
  • Abdominal flatulence
  • Feeling of incomplete elimination of fecal matter or stool
  • Feeling of need to throw up (nausea) and actual vomiting
  • Bowel movement disturbances like loose bowel movement (diarrhea) or difficulty of passing hardened stool (constipation)
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding manifested by bloody stool (melena or hematochezia)

Tests and Investigations for Colon Cancer

1. Endoscopy

Endoscopic examination needs to be done, either sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. Typical picture of carcinoma or ulcer can be seen clearly on endoscopy, and to establish the diagnosis a biopsy is necessary.

2. Radiology

Radiological examination can be done include: breast and colon (barium enema).

Barium enema examination may be able to clarify the state of the tumor and identify its location. This test illustrates the possible existence of a deadlock on the contents of the stomach, where a reduction in tumor size in the lumen. Small wounds may not be identified by this test. Barium enema is generally done after sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy.

Computer Tomography (CT) help clarify the broad masses and the presence of disease. Chest X-ray and liver scan may be able to find a place that is distant metastatic.

Chest examination is useful in addition to see whether there is metastasis to the lung cancer can also be used in preparation for surgery. In colon photo can be seen a filling defect in a place or a stricture.

3. Ultrasonography (USG).

This examination is useful for detecting the presence or absence of metastatic cancer in the lymph nodes in the abdomen and liver.

4. Histopathology

In addition to performing endoscopy, biopsy should be done in a few places for histopathological examination to confirm the diagnosis. Histopathological picture of colorectal carcinoma is adenocarcinoma, and differentiation of cells need to be determined.

5. Laboratory

There is no distinctive marker for colorectal carcinoma, however any patient who experienced bleeding needs to be checked Hb.

Tumor markers commonly used are CEA. CEA levels over 5 mg / ml is usually found already advanced colorectal carcinoma.

Based on research, the CEA can not be used for the early detection of colorectal carcinoma, because the titer was found more than 5 mg / ml only in one third of cases of stage III. Patients with mucous bloody bowel movements, stool should be examined in bacteriological against shigella and amoeba.

6. Scan (for example, MRI. CZ: gallium) and ultrasound:

Performed for diagnostic purposes, the identification of metastatic, and evaluation of response to treatment.

7. Biopsy (aspiration, excision, needle)

Done for the appeal and describe the diagnostic and treatment can be done through the bone marrow, skin, organs and so on.

8. Complete blood counts

With differential and platelets: Can indicate anemia, changes in red blood cells and white blood cells: platelets increases or decreases.

9. Chest X-ray:

Investigate metastatic or primary lung disease.