In most of the diagnosed cases, the treatment of choice for colorectal cancer is surgical, with the removal of the tumor taking place.. Only in the most advanced cases (with metastasis , that is, involvement of other organs) or in certain cases of localized cancer in the rectum, other treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy are initially indicated, aimed in any case at later Surgical resection of the tumor.
The goal of surgical treatment is the complete removal of the segment of the colon or rectum where the tumor is located , including the surrounding tissues and lymph nodes through which the cancer can spread, and re-sewing of the bowel to reconstruct normal bowel transit.
After the tumor analysis, in the most initial cases, surgery is sufficient; In those cases in which the tumor is more advanced, surgical treatment must be complemented with chemo or radiotherapy postoperatively.
Types of surgery
Depending on the location of the cancer (right colon, transverse, left or rectum) the surgery to be performed receives different names: segmental resection, right hemicolectomy, left hemicolectomy or resection of the rectum, as well as the reconstruction or anastomosis (sewing) performed: ileo-colic, colo-colic or colo-rectal anastomosis.
Nowadays, thanks to the increasingly frequent early diagnosis, patients are operated on in more initial phases and in an elective or programmed way (which represents a better preoperative preparation of both the patient and the intestine) making it possible in most cases the suture of the intestine can be carried out.
In those cases of urgent surgery (due to occlusion or perforation of the colon) where the local conditions of the tumor or general of the patient do not allow it, it is necessary to practice a colostomy (the so-called "year against nature"), which in most the cases will be temporary. Once the patient has recovered and after a prudential period, a second intervention can be carried out in which the intestinal transit will be reconstructed.
Classically, colon and rectal cancer surgery required large incisions in the abdomen to remove the tumor. For years now, in specialized centers, laparoscopic technique has also been used in colorectal surgery, making possible the resection of cancer with the same oncological guarantees as open or "conventional" surgery and providing the benefits already demonstrated in others. fields of surgery by laparoscopy: smaller and aesthetic incisions, less postoperative pain, faster recovery and an early reincorporation to habitual activity.
Tips after surgery of the colon and rectum
Naturally, after a resection of the colon or rectum , the habit or intestinal function of the patients presents some alteration: normally the stool consistency decreases and the number of stools per day increases. A sufficient intake of fluids and fiber, associated with a more or less astringent diet and free of irritating substances of the intestine such as alcohol, coffee, spices and spicy is usually sufficient to alleviate the symptoms, although occasionally it may be necessary to associate some medication.