Colorectal cancer ( CRC) is the second cause of death from cancer in the Western world after the lung cancer in men and breast cancer in women. Each year approximately 25,000 new cases of CRC diagnosed in Spain. The improvement in life expectancy of these patients has been significantly improved in recent decades thanks to a better understanding of the disease, an improvement of diagnostic techniques and a multidisciplinary approach to treatment.
The origin of colorectal cancer is multifactorial. It is a disease prevalent in the Western world and whose causes are interwoven genetic and environmental factors. 35% of cases have a clear family component in which each time the trigger genetic disorders that are better known.
The majority of colorectal cancers are found in the colon itself, while 30 % are located in the rectum, ie, in the last 15 cm of the digestive tract.
The methods for diagnose colorectal cancer include total colonoscopy with biopsy, radiology (CT, magnetic resonance and ultrasound ) and the test for occult blood in stool. This last test is part of various programs for early detection of disease. CCR clinical suspicion must be based on the presence of one or more of the following:
-A change in the frequency and consistency of stools ( diarrhea alternating with periods of normal or constipation ) held for more than six weeks and no other obvious cause.
-Blood in stool for more than six weeks and without any pathologies such as hemorrhoids or anal fissures, explaining these blood loss.
-Anemia of unknown origin.
Today is included in the population at risk of contracting the disease those with direct family history who have had colon cancer or polyps finding in a previous colonoscopy.
The treatment of colorectal cancer is essentially surgical. Proper technique in experienced hands is always an added assurance in the process of eradication of the disease. Some rectal cancers require treatment with chemoradiotherapy before surgery to reduce the size of the tumor, while certain cases of colon cancer may benefit from treatment with chemotherapy after surgery.
Thanks to the multidisciplinary treatment, a therapeutic approach may at any stage of the disease which pursues its eradication and improvement in the prognosis of the patient.