Colorectal Cancer: A Comprehensive Guide
About Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer (CRC), a prevalent and potentially fatal disease, manifests predominantly as large bowel cancer, with an annual diagnosis of approximately 145,600 new cases in the United States. It stands as a leading cause of cancer-related deaths, particularly among men.
Symptoms and Signs
Individuals with CRC may experience a range of symptoms including:
- Change in Bowel Habits: The most prevalent symptom, observed in 74% of cases.
- Rectal Bleeding: Often accompanied by a change in bowel habits, noted in 51% of all cases and 71% of cases with rectal bleeding.
- Rectal or Abdominal Mass: Detected in 24.5% and 12.5% of cases respectively.
- Iron Deficiency Anemia: Present in 9.6% of cases.
- Abdominal Pain: The least common symptom, occurring in 3.8% of cases.
The diagnosis of CRC is primarily established through histologic examination of biopsy samples, typically obtained during lower gastrointestinal tract endoscopy or from a surgical specimen. The majority of CRC cases are adenocarcinomas. Diagnostic procedures may include colonoscopy or CT colonography, particularly when symptoms or signs suggestive of CRC are present. The multidisciplinary team involved in CRC care generally encompasses a surgeon, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, and a gastroenterologist.
Conventional treatment strategies for CRC include colostomy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, often implemented in a combined approach to enhance treatment efficacy.
Integrative Treatments for Colorectal Cancer
In addition to conventional treatments, integrating complementary therapies can potentially enhance the treatment efficacy. Here are some integrative treatments justified for use in colorectal cancer patients:
- Autologous Immunotherapy: Utilizes the patient’s immune cells to target and eliminate cancer cells, enhancing the body’s natural defense mechanisms.
- Pharmacological Immunotherapy: Involves the use of drugs to boost the immune system’s ability to fight cancer cells, offering a targeted approach to cancer treatment.
- Systemic Perfusion Hyperthermia: A treatment method that uses heat to increase the vulnerability of cancer cells to other treatments, enhancing the effectiveness of primary therapies.
- Systemic Ozone Therapy: This therapy involves introducing ozone gas into the body to improve oxygenation and potentially inhibit cancer cell growth.
- Glutathione: A powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage, playing a protective role in cancer treatment.
- Dendritic Enhancers: These are used to boost the immune response by enhancing the function of dendritic cells, which play a crucial role in immune responses.
- Mistletoe: Used as a complementary therapy, mistletoe can help improve symptoms and enhance the quality of life in cancer patients.
- Personalized Nutrition: Tailoring nutrition plans to the individual needs of the patient, supporting overall health and well-being during cancer treatment.
- Vitamin D IV: Administered intravenously, it helps in enhancing the immune response and may have protective effects against cancer.
- Zinc: An essential mineral that plays a role in immune function and may help in improving the response to cancer treatment.
- Melatonin: A hormone that can help in managing sleep disturbances in cancer patients, enhancing the quality of life.
- Curcumin: A compound found in turmeric, it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, potentially offering protective effects against cancer.
- Sylimarin: A compound found in milk thistle, it has antioxidant properties and may help in protecting liver function during cancer treatment.
- Vitamin E: A potent antioxidant that helps in protecting cells from damage, supporting overall health during cancer treatment.
By incorporating these integrative treatments, patients can experience a more holistic approach to cancer care, potentially enhancing the effectiveness of conventional treatments and improving the quality of life