According to statistics, colorectal cancer affects every 15th person in the world. And every year this number is growing. Unfortunately, not all countries are able to detect this disease at its early stages. Medical tourism is becoming so popular because thanks to it you can undergo highly qualified treatment abroad.
The most popular countries for colon cancer treatment are Korea, Germany, and Turkey. The most modern clinics that apply innovative methods of treatment work here. Besides, the prices for cancer treatment in these countries are on average lower than in Europe, and the level of provided treatment is much higher.
What is colon cancer?
Colorectal cancer is a malignant neoplasm of the large intestine, which is the final part of the gastrointestinal tract and includes the colon, sigmoid and rectum. Its danger is asymptomatic progression.
Most of these cases start with small benign tumors, which are called adenomatous polyps and adenomas. Over time, some of these polyps can transform into malignant tumors and become colorectal cancer. With age, the number of colorectal cancers detected increases gradually.
How to suspect colon cancer?
This type of cancer is characterized by progression without significant symptoms, which is why it is often detected only at the final stages. Unfortunately, at the early stages of colon cancer, it causes no symptoms. However, as the tumor progresses, such symptoms appear:
- Stomach discomfort, bloating, constant pain.
- Feeling of not completely emptying the bowels.
- Unexplained weight loss is the most common sign of oncology.
- Presence of blood in the feces.
- General weakness, rapid fatigue.
- Frequent constipation or diarrhea.
If you notice one or more symptoms of cancer of the large intestine, you should immediately see a doctor and undergo an examination.
Over many years of research, scientists have compiled a list of factors that can increase the chance of developing colorectal cancer. The more factors you have, the higher your chance:
- Colon cancer in close relatives.
- Excessive consumption of meat.
- Alcohol abuse.
- Lack of physical activity.
- Lack of fruits and vegetables.
- Inflammatory intestinal diseases.
- Disorders of the immune system.
- Constant exposure to radiation.
Despite the development of modern medical technologies, the results of the treatment of intestinal cancer patients are far from ideal. This is due to the fact that most often cancer is diagnosed at the advanced stages when colon cancer treatment is ineffective.
- For the most informative diagnosis making, modern clinics recommend colonoscopy in combination with biopsy, as well as a fecal occult blood test.
- To determine the size of the tumor more accurately magnetic resonance imaging of pelvic organs is used.
- The blood is also analyzed for the presence of oncomarkers – chemical substances that are produced by cancer cells. The level of oncomarkers helps the doctor to understand whether your cancer responds to therapy.
Options for the treatment of colorectal cancer, as with most other malignant tumors, are surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, as well as their combinations. However, a new, more effective method of treatment – targeted therapy has been used recently.
The essence of this method is the impact of drugs directly on cancer cells. In this case, this method is harmless. However, it affects not all cancer types. Targeted drugs are made using genetic engineering technologies. They may have different mechanisms of action.
- First of them are monoclonal antibodies, that is, molecules similar to those that are produced in the body as an immune response to infection.
- The second type of drugs suppresses the function of enzymes involved in the transmission of the signals needed to initiate cancer cell division.
- The third type of drugs inhibit the formation of new blood vessels that are necessary for tumor growth. Thus, each of the drugs has an impact on one specific target.
How to undergo treatment abroad
If you want to know more about modern methods of treatment, the website of medical tourism operator Booking Health will help you. Here you will find information about the best clinics in foreign countries, as well as familiarize yourself with all treatment options.
An important benefit of Booking Health is that the prices for treatment are lower than when you go to the clinic yourself. In addition, you will be provided with assistance in organizing treatment and flight.