On the 11th of February Kevin Bergersen of Colon Cancer Alliance conducted a webinar covering the basics and treatments of Colorectal cancer, featuring guest speakers Dr. Singh and Dr. Boland.
Dr. Amanpal Singh was the first speaker at the webinar, covering the basics and prevention of Colorectal Cancer. Dr. Singh is an MD, Assistant Professor of Oncology, Division of Gastroenterology/Endoscopy at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY.
Dr. Singh started off by presenting the latest statistics on colorectal cancer, naming it as the 3rd most common cancer in the United States that is set to register 132,700 new cases in 2015 and will be the cause of death of 49,700 of them.
Some of the biggest risk factors that cause colorectal cancer are such as smoking, heavy alcohol abuse, obesity, inactivity, red meat, low intake of fruits, vegetables and grains, as well as a family history of cancer and a Bowes disease history.
Colorectal Cancer can be prevented by tests and screenings that include endoscopy and radiology that not only detect the cancer itself, but they also detect polyps (an abnormal tissue with potential to become cancer that develops between 10-15 years).
According to Dr. Singh, colonoscopy is more useful than radiology as it is more sensitive in the detection of small tumours and has rare chances of complications. It is recommended to start screenings at the age of 50 and stop at 85. There is also surveillance available for patients at higher risk to be conducted between intervals of 2/3-5 years.
The second speaker at the webinar was Dr. Boland, discussing the treatments of colorectal cancer. Patrick Boland, is an MD at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Assistant Professor of Oncology, Department of Medicine, GI Center.
Dr. Boland started with a throughout explanation of the different stages of the disease. Depending on the depth of the tumour, they divide in 4 stages:
Stage 1 – only the layers are affected, no lymph nodes involved.
Stage 2 – the invade is deeper, but there are still no lymph nodes involved.
Stage 3 – involves the lymph nodes.
Stage 4 – separate, distant sides and organs are affected, as well as the lymph nodes.
Stage 1 and 2 require a surgery (stage 2 may require chemotherapy too), stages 3 and 4 – surgery and a chemotherapy (stage 4 could involve radiation in some cases). Rectal cancer for example, in stage 2 and 3 requires radiation as well as a chemotherapy. Dr. Boland noted that sometimes chemotherapy has been more effective before surgery but it's not proven to be always recommended.
The biggest risk of rectal cancer is that it may come back at a different place, therefore there are follow ups recommended between 3-5 years, even though recent statistics show 77% of the patients to remain without regrowth and a total of 98% success from surgeries.
Some of the drugs for an advanced disease during chemotherapy include 5FU drug, irinotecan and oxaliplatin, TAS-102, Cyramza (Ramucirumab) – recently approved for stomach cancer intravenous drug.
Dr. Boland concluded his presentation expressing the future plans Roswell Park Institute is working on, which include expanded research on mutations, expanded targeted therapies, blood based testing, and evaluation of Vitamin D.
For more information:
Colon Cancer Alliance - http://www.ccalliance.org/
Roswell Park Institute - https://www.roswellpark.org/
LOWER YOUR RISK OF COLON CANCER
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Latest in CRC Prevention, Research and Beyond Webinar. Colon Cancer Alliance. Published on Feb 12. 2015.
This webinar discusses updates and advances in colorectal cancer as presented at the January 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Gastroenterology (GI) Symposium. Additional information on preventive screening and steps you can take to lower your colorectal cancer risk will also be addressed.
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