Bowel cancer patients miss out on life-saving liver surgery
This is called a colo-anal anastomosis (anastomosis means connection). This is a harder operation to do. For a short time, an ostomy (an opening on the belly for getting rid of body wastes) is needed to allow healing after surgery. The usual hospital stay isfour to sevendays, depending on your overall health. A second operation is needed later to close the ostomy opening. Abdominoperineal (AP) resection: For cancers in the lower part of the rectum, close to its outer connection to the anus, an abdominoperineal (AP) resection is done. For this the surgeon makes one cut in the belly (abdomen), and another in the area around the anus. Because the anus is removed, a colostomy is needed. A colostomy is an opening of the colon in the front of the abdomen. It is used as a way for the body to get rid of solid body waste (feces or stool). The usual hospital stay for an AP resection isfour to sevendays, depending on your overall health. Pelvic exenteration: If the rectal cancer is growing into nearby organs, more extensive surgery is needed. In a pelvic exenteration, the surgeon removes the rectum as well as nearby organs such as the bladder, prostate, or uterus if the cancer has spread to these organs. A colostomy is needed after this operation. If the bladder is removed, a urostomy (an opening to collect urine) is also needed. Side Effects of Colorectal Surgery Side effects of surgery depend on many things, such as the extent of the operation and a person’s general health before surgery.
If it doesnt, then any sudden urges to pass urine or the need to go more often should be discussed with your doctor. Lost weight without dieting? Its natural for most peoples weight to fluctuate over time. But if you havent instigated any changes in your diet or exercise regime and have obviously lost weight, then talk to your doctor. And if youre experiencing heavy night sweats you should seek medical advice these dont always have a sinister cause, and can be brought about by certain infections or medications, but theyre worth checking. Coughing up blood needs to be checked out If youve coughed up any blood, you should see your doctor, regardless of the amount of blood or frequency. It can be a sign of lung cancer, so needs to be checked out. Coughs and sore throats Most of us will experience coughs or croaky voices at some point, normally when weve had a cold. But as with many other changes to your body, anything that hasnt gone away after three weeks or so should be investigated. Educate yourself on what to look out for AXAs research found women were more likely than men to identify key cancer warning signs, including breast lumps, changes in bowel habits and irregular moles. But for both men and women, ensuring youre aware of symptoms to keep an eye out for is important. Knowledge is power: understanding what youre looking for means you can any changes checked out quickly. Know your own body AXAs research found only 6% of men and 3% of women check their bodies daily for anything unusual. But understanding whats normal for your own body is essential if youre to spot when anything has changed.
Many Bowel Cancer Patients ‘Denied Operation That Could Save Their Lives’
Researchers at St James’s University Hospital, Leeds, looked at the treatment of more than 600 patients with bowel cancer that had spread to the liver. Around one in five were referred to liver specialists and, of these patients, three quarters were deemed to be fit for liver surgery. Patients who the bowel specialists decided shouldn’t undergo a liver operation, despite being fit for surgery, were reassessed by the liver specialists using the same information. In 44 per cent of cases the liver specialists disagreed. All patients are seen by bowel cancer specialists, who can refer them to liver specialists if they think they might benefit from liver treatment. The most common treatment is surgery to remove any tumours from the liver which may help cure the patient. Mr Alastair Young, study author and surgical registrar based at St James’s University Hospital, said: “Bowel cancer specialists are deciding whether or not a patient is suitable for liver surgery. And we’re seeing liver specialists disagree with the decision in almost half of cases, meaning that some patients are denied an operation that could save their lives. “One of the striking things about this work is that our region has been shown to have the highest rates in the country of liver surgery for bowel cancer patients . But we’ve shown a significant gap between current and best practice in our region, suggesting there is plenty of room for improvement up and down the country. “These decisions are not made lightly but liver and bowel specialists need to talk to each other much more to ensure every patient has the best possible chance of beating the disease and to reduce the worrying difference in referral rates.” Professor Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK’s chief clinician, said: “This shows how important it is for cancer specialists to collaborate when discussing treatment so all patients can benefit from their collective medical expertise. “The patient’s welfare is key so the benefits of surgery must be weighed against the risks. Not all patients will be eligible for these operations because their cancer may be too advanced, they may have other health problems or they may not want to have surgery.” More information: Young, A.