"Causes of Colon Cancer" is a perfect example of a paper on cancer. Cancer results from defective genes in cells that transform normal cells into abnormal cells. Abnormal cancer cells do not exhibit the usual death pattern depicted by the normal cells. Rather, these cells have the capacity to multiply at great speeds as well as spreading into other organs. Colon cancer is defined by the abnormal cells in the colon, which may start with the formation of a tumor. Notably, not all tumors emerging in the colon may be cancerous as some may prove to be benign (Martinez, 2005).
This paper will discuss the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of colon cancer. Moreover, it will discuss the efficiency of massage therapy as an alternative medicine to patients with colon cancer. Causes of Colon Cancer One of the causes of such genetic defects may emerge from the hereditary factors, especially if an individual comes from a family that has a history of colon cancer. Moreover, adenomatous polyps are thought of as a precondition for colon cancer (Braun & Simonson, 2007). They are defined by a cluster of cells with abnormal traits usually occurring in glands found in the inner wall of the colon.
Other risk factors that may contribute to the development of colon cancer include ulcerative colitis and Crouch's colitis. Specialists have indulged in thorough research which has identified diet, obesity as well as smoking as other risk factors related to colon cancer (Braun & Simonson, 2007). Symptoms of Colon Cancer One of the common symptoms of colon cancer is the presence of blood in fecal matter accompanied by abdominal pain. Some patients with colon cancer register persistent vomiting and nausea which cannot be effectively be explained.
These symptoms may also be accompanied by weight loss. After a bowel movement, some individuals with colon cancer may have the feeling that there was an incomplete evacuation (Sarris & Wardle, 2010). Tumors in the colon may serve to block bowel movement resulting in ribbon-like stools. Diagnosis of Colon Cancer If an individual has blood in the fecal matter, a digital rectal exam is carried out in order to ascertain that the bleeding is either from the colon or the rectum.
The second test is the colonoscopy, which intents to present a detailed view of the internal parts of the colon. The test is meant to identify tumors, polyps, or another form of abnormality in the colon. Other doctors rely on a type of X-ray which has the potential to show tumors in the colon. The limitation of this type of X-ray is that it can only detect malignant tumors and is ineffective when they are small (Sarris & Wardle, 2010). Treatment Options for Colon Cancer In most cases, surgery is the best option as it helps in the removal of the part of the colon with the tumor.
Moreover, the polyps may be removed during this process. The purpose of the initial surgery is determined by the results of the colonoscopy. Chemotherapy may also be an option, especially after surgery, as the drugs prescribed help to minimize the cancer cells in the body. Radiation therapy is also considered as an option usually before surgery in an effort to reduce the size of the tumor and minimize the chances of cancer recurring (Ahuja & Nettles, 2014). Complementary Treatment for Colon Cancer Colon cancer has been described as a disease that causes intense pain, fatigue, and a great deal of emotional distress.
Whereas the treatment options described above seek to address the presence of the abnormal cells in the body, complementary medicines seek to restore the wholeness of the body and present the individual with hope for the future. Research has identified massage therapy as one of the effective alternative strategies that can help in improving the condition of patients with colon cancer.
Massage therapy is used as a form of intervention as the individual undergoes other treatment procedures. Evidently, the treatment options available for cancer serve to weaken the body of patients. The fact they are performed continuously only implies that the individual under constant emotional distress. Therefore, researchers have focused on defining the efficiency of massage therapy in helping patients with colon cancer cope with the devastating effects of the disease and treatment procedures. Patients seeking massage therapy may do so from clinics where they receive formal treatment for proper prescription.
It is also recommended that they may seek alternative treatment from private clinics as this will give an opportunity to benefit from the changing environment (Sarris & Wardle, 2010). A systematic review of the existing literature has highlighted that massage has the capacity to reduce both anxiety and depression. Moreover, massage therapy can serve as an effective strategy in the reduction of nausea. In some instances, there is evidence that massage has served to reduce pain. However, it does not prove to eliminate pain completely. Such studies highlighting the efficiency of massage therapy have led to its recommendation as a complementary type of therapy to be used alongside conventional medicine.
Complimentary medicine has the potential of eliminating the negative effects resulting from both the disease as well as the side effects of conventional medicine. Most importantly, research has revealed that massage therapy registers a level of efficiency in improving an individual’ s quality of life for patients with colon cancer. Modern research has highlighted that massage sessions should be longer to increase efficiency, but the specialist carrying out the message must not touch the areas affected by the disease (Pandey & Krishnan, 2004). Other Complementary Approaches and Discoveries Cancer patients have often been advised to opt for acupuncture as an additional complementary approach in reducing pain, nausea, and vomiting.
According to recent research, there is reliable evidence of the efficiency of this approach in managing nausea and vomiting. However, there is still a need for more research to ascertain whether this approach relieves pain resulting from colon cancer. However, there is a need for specialist carrying out acupuncture to adhere to regulations regarding the use of clean needles in a bid to minimize infections because chemotherapy and radiotherapy have already compromised the patient’ s immunity (Sarris & Wardle, 2010). The use of ginger as a natural herb has also been considered as a complementary approach in the management of nausea in colon cancer patients.
It is thought to be effective in this type of cancer because of its antioxidant traits. However, it is used in combination with conventional medicine. Research on other herbs has yielded promising results in the management of pain, fatigue, vomiting, and nausea.
However, there is limited scientific evidence supporting the use of these herbs (Pandey & Krishnan, 2004). Advanced research seeks to establish any evidence pointing to a counter interaction of herbs with conventional medicine. Many oncologists have advanced cancer patients to adopt new lifestyles in terms of diet and begin exercising. Dietary changes include reducing the quantity of red meat taken, including more garlic and plant antioxidants, using olive oil and incorporating selenium-rich foods, increasing the consumption of omega 3 oils, and drinking ginseng tea. In all the above cases, it is important for colon cancer patients to discuss their use of complementary medicine with their oncologists.
This is because the oncologists should decide based on evidence-based practice, whether the complementary approach adopted has any negative effects on the use of conventional medicine (Pandey & Krishnan, 2004). Conclusion Without a doubt, colon cancer is becoming a prevalent disease in the 21st century. There is a need for research to focus on more effective intervention strategies in both conventional and complementary medicine. Evidently, conventional medicine seeks to eliminate the cancer cells from the body while complementary medicine is effective in improving the quality of life of patients.
There is a need for advanced research concerning the reliability of massage therapy as a preferred strategy in complementary medicine (Pandey & Krishnan, 2004).
Ahuja, N., & Nettles, B. S. (2014). Johns Hopkins patients' guide to colon and rectal cancer. Burlington, Mass: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Braun, M. B., & Simonson, S. J. (2007). Introduction to massage therapy. Baltimore: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.
Martinez, J. D. (2005). Focus on colorectal cancer research. New York: Nova Biomedical Books.
Pandey, M., & Krishnan, N. M. (2004). Advances in oncology, third volume. New Delhi: Jaypee Bros. Medical Publishers.
Sarris, J., & Wardle, J. (2010). Clinical naturopathy: An evidence-based guide to practice. Sydney [Australia: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.