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Colon Cancer vs. Lung Cancer Essay

I. Introduction

Although Colon and Lung Cancer affect different organs of the body and have different symptoms, they are treated similarly using, surgery, radiation, chemo, and targeted therapy

. II. The treatment options for colon and lung cancer are similar and are determined by which stage the cancer is in. a. Surgery is often the main treatment for the earlier stages, such as, Stage 1. b. Chemotherapy and Radiation therapy are used for Stages 2, 3 most often with surgery, and sometimes Stage 4

III. There are two different types of surgeries performed for the treatments based on the stages. a. A polypectomy, removal of polyps, or a lobectomy, removal of a lobe of the lung. b. A colectomy, removal of the colon, or a pneumonectomy, removal of the lung.

IV. In most cases, these cancers are unlikely to be cured in Stage 4. c. Patients receive chemo and/or targeted therapies to control the cancer. d. Surgery is usually done to prevent or relieve symptoms of the disease.

IV. Conclusion

THE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR COLON AND LUNG CANCER

The earlier cancer of the lung and colon is caught, and treated, the greater the survival rate. The five year survival rate with stage 4 lung cancer is less than 10%. Colon cancer stage 4 patients have a 12% survival rate. Whereas, patients diagnosed and treated while the disease is in its first stage, the survival rate for lung cancer is 60-80%, and colon is at 90%. Although colon and lung cancer affect different organs of the body and have different symptoms, they are treated similarly using, surgery, radiation, chemo and targeted therapy. The treatment options for colon and lung cancer are similar, and are determined by what stage the cancer is in.

The disease is assigned a stage from one to four, depending on severity. In stage one the cancer is confined to the lung. During stages two, and three, the cancer is confined to the lung, with a possibility of existing in the lymph nodes. When the cancer has spread outside of the lungs to other parts of the body, the patient is diagnosed with stage four Lung Cancer. Unlike stage three Lung Cancer where there is a possibility of the disease spreading to the lymph nodes, when a patient has stage three colon Cancer, it has definitely spread to the lymph nodes already.

TYPES OF SURGERIES

A surgical procedure is typically the main treatment for stage one. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy most often with surgery, are used for stages two, three, and sometimes four. Chemotherapy is a medical process used to help slow or stop the growth of cancer cells growing within the body. The drugs used during chemotherapy cannot differentiate between cells, so it also kills the healthy cells. Radiation therapy uses high-energy particles or waves to destroy or damage cells. It is part of the main treatment for lung cancer. Thousands of people become cancer free after getting radiation treatments. Radiation can be given alone, or with other treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy. Since the cancer is confined to the lung or colon during stage one, surgery is the treatment given; sometimes chemotherapy is also given. The surgery is done to remove the cancer and a margin of healthy tissue. Surgical procedures to remove lung cancer include, wedge resection, segmental resection, lobectomy, and pneumonectomy.

A wedge resection is the removal of a small section of the lung that contains the tumor. The segmental resection removes a larger part of the lung. A lobectomy and pneumonectomy is the removal of an entire lobe of one lung, and the removal of an entire lung. Unless colon cancer is very advanced, most tumors are removed by an operation known as a colectomy. During a colectomy, the cancerous part of the colon and nearby lymph nodes is removed. If possible, the intestine is then reconnected. If the intestine cannot be reconnected, because of an infection or obstruction, a colostomy will be performed. A colostomy brings the end of the colon closest to the stomach up through the skin where the stool drains into a sack called an ostomy pouch.

The colostomy is usually temporary and can be reversed with a second operation; generally after about three -six months. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy, along with surgery, are the treatments involved with stage three colon and lung cancer. Chemotherapy may slow the progress of the cancer and extend survival time, by killing cancer cells. It may also help lessen the symptoms of the disease. If a person is healthy overall, chemotherapy and radiation can be given as a combination. Combining both treatments allow them to work together to reduce pain and other symptoms while slowing the progression of the disease.

THE FINAL STAGES

Stage four Cancer is the most advanced cancer stage. A diagnosis of stage four colon and lung cancer means cancer has spread from the colon and the lungs to other organs and tissues. Many treatments are available that can prevent or reduce symptoms, slow the progression of the cancer, and lengthen survival. Surgery, such as a surgical resection may extend the survival time in colon cancer. A surgical resection is the removal of the section of the colon affected by the tumor. It is then joined together with the remaining healthy sections to form one long, health piece. Depending on several factors, chemotherapy and radiation are treatments for patients with Stage Four.

Those facts include, if there is lymph node involvement, where the tumor has spread, and how it is attached. Although surgery is not an option for patients with stage four Lung Cancer, treatment options are available. The treatments can help to prolong life and reduce pain. Some of those treatments include, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, combination of both, targeted drugs, clinical trials, and supportive care. Palliative therapy, which can reduce the pain and provide comfort, is also essential.

CONCLUSION

Recognizing the risk factors of the cancers, and practicing preventive measures allow us to reduce the risk for development of the disease. However, if diagnosed, the earlier the treatment options are discussed and began, the chances to be cured are higher.

REFERENCES
WEBLINK: http://stmarysofmichigan.org
http://www.cancer.org
http://secure.mayoclinic.com
http://health.bwmc.umms.org
http://www.ehow.com
http://www.livestrong.com


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