Colorectal Cancer

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    Greater celandine: Ukrain, a semisynthetic drug derived from greater celandine (Chelidonium majus), has been studied in clinical trials of various types of cancer with consistently positive outcomes. However, the quality of the research performed to date is inadequate, and higher quality studies are needed.

    Guided imagery: Early research suggests that guided imagery may help reduce cancer pain. Further research is needed to confirm these results.

    Meditation: There is good evidence that various types of meditation may help improve quality of life in cancer patients. Studies have shown benefits for mood, sleep quality, and the stresses of treatment. The specific effects of meditation are not fully understood. Additional research is needed in this area.

    Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy is an interactive process between a person and a qualified mental health care professional (psychiatrist, psychologist, clinical social worker, licensed counselor, or other trained practitioner). There is good evidence that psychotherapy may enhance quality of life in cancer patients by reducing emotional distress and aiding in coping with the stresses and challenges of cancer. Therapy may be supportive-expressive therapy, cognitive therapy or group therapy. While some patients seek psychotherapy in hopes of extending survival, there conclusive evidence of effects on medical prognosis is currently lacking. Psychotherapy may help people come to terms with the fact that they may die of cancer, which is the 4th stage of dealing with a terminal illness, including denial, anger, bargaining, and acceptance.

    Yoga: Yoga is an ancient system of relaxation, exercise, and healing with origins in Indian philosophy. Several studies report enhanced quality of life in cancer, lower sleep disturbance, decreased stress symptoms and changes in cancer-related immune cells after patients received relaxation, meditation and gentle yoga therapy. Yoga is not recommended as a sole treatment for cancer but may be helpful as an adjunct therapy.

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

    Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.

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    Metastasis (spreading) to other organs, such as the liver, pancreas, lungs, and lymph nodes, may occur causing an increased chance of death.

    Colonoscopy procedures may cause complications including perforation (a hole), bleeding, infection, abdominal distension (bloating), postpolypectomy coagulation syndrome (damage to the colon wall from a snare loop or hot forceps used in diagnostic procedures), spleen rupture, and small bowel obstruction.

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

    Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.

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    ARodney Kratz, Colon & Rectal Surgery, answered on behalf of Swedish
    For rectal cancer, the most common surgery is to remove the upper two-thirds of the rectum and either make a new rectum out of another piece of intestine or splice the ends of the rectum together. This surgery is generally the best option for patients whose cancer is found early and is located high in the rectum.
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    Colorectal cancer (CRC) affects an equal number of men and women. Many women, however, think of CRC as a disease only affecting men and might be unaware of important information about screening and preventing colorectal cancer that could save their lives, says the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.
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    Colorectal cancer is highly preventable. Colonoscopy may detect polyps (small growths on the lining of the colon). Removal of these polyps (by biopsy or snare polypectomy) results in a major reduction in the likelihood of developing colorectal cancer in the future.
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    APatrick Maguire, MD, Oncology, answered
    Standard treatment for patients with locally advanced rectal cancer generally incorporates both radiation therapy (RT) and chemotherapy. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have shown an improvement in local tumor control as well as survival for patients randomized to RT (either preoperatively or postoperatively) over surgery alone. Other RCTs revealed that concurrent chemoradiotherapy or chemoRT  was superior to RT alone. Either fluorouracil or capecitabine are most frequently used concurrently with RT, since FOLFOX and other more aggressive regimens would likely prove too toxic when delivered at the same time. Two RCTs have confirmed a benefit to preoperative rather than postoperative chemoRT. While the risk of cancer returning in the pelvis was low with both preop and postop chemoRT, preop treatment had fewer side effects. Preoperative chemoRT is the standard of care for locally advanced rectal cancer at most major cancer treatment centers.
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    APatrick Maguire, MD, Oncology, answered
    Tumors that arise from the rectum have an increased risk of returning locally compared to tumors that begin higher up in the colon. The anatomic location of the rectum, low and deep within the pelvis, can make it challenging even for experienced colorectal surgeons to remove cancers with widely negative surgical margins.
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    APatrick Maguire, MD, Oncology, answered
    A common regimen of chemotherapy for colorectal cancer (CRC) consists of a combination of three drugs called FOLFOX: fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin. Another popular three-drug regimen substitutes irinotecan in place of oxaliplatin and is known by the acronym FOLFIRI.
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    This type of treatment is used for some rectal cancers. A small device is placed through the anus and into the rectum to deliver high-intensity radiation over a few minutes. This is repeated about 3 more times at about 2-week intervals for the full dose. The advantage of this approach is that the radiation reaches the rectum without passing through the skin and other tissues of the abdomen, which means it is less likely to cause side effects. This can allow some patients, particularly elderly persons, to avoid major surgery and a colostomy. It is used only for small tumors. Sometimes external-beam radiation therapy is also given.
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    This operation is more involved than a low anterior resection. It can be used to treat some stage I cancers and many stage II or III rectal cancers in the lower third of the rectum (the part nearest to the anus), especially if the cancer is growing into the sphincter muscle (the muscle that keeps the anus closed and prevents stool leakage).

    Here, the surgeon makes one incision in the abdomen, and another in the perineal area around the anus. This incision allows the surgeon to remove the anus and the tissues surrounding it, including the sphincter muscle. Because the anus is removed, you will need a permanent colostomy to allow stool a path out of the body.

    This operation requires general anesthesia (where you are asleep). As with a low anterior resection or a colo-anal anastomosis, the usual hospital stay for an AP resection is 4 to 7 days, depending on your overall health. Recovery time at home may be 3 to 6 weeks.

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