What is Colorectal Cancer?
How to Tell if Colorectal Cancer Has Spread to Your Bones
Using Imaging Tests
Have x-rays taken of your bones.Most cases of bone cancer can be identified through an X-ray of the bone. The affected bone may appear to be worn out instead of being firm or solid.
- A hole-like structure in the bone can be indicative of cancer. There are also instances where the tumor around the bone becomes visible and is already affecting the surrounding tissues.
- Most of the time radiologists can tell whether a tumor is malignant just by looking at the X-ray, but only a biopsy test can confirm the diagnosis.
Set up an appointment to have a CT scan done.A CT (computed tomography) scan is an X-ray procedure that generates more detailed and cross-sectional images of the body’s structure.
- A special device called a CT scanner takes numerous pictures as it rotates around the patient’s body. These images are then transmitted to a computer which in turn produces various images of the affected part of the body.
- CT scans are used to determine whether the cancer cells have metastasized to other organs in the body such as the lungs and liver. It can also reveal affliction within any lymph nodes in the body.
- Before the procedures starts, the patient is asked to drink a contrast agent (about 1 to 2 pints) or the agent s injected through an intravenous line. This substance can be helpful in outlining the stomach and intestine for better identification of tumors.
Get an MRI taken.Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans use radio waves and strong magnets to produce a detailed pattern transmitted by the affected tissue. A computer then converts these patterns into a very detailed image of the studied body structure. In some cases, a contrast dye called gadolinium is injected into the patient’s vein to clearly recognize tumors.
- MRI scans are often the best option in outlining bone tumor. They are also recommended for brain and spinal cord cases.
- MRI scans can cause anxiety for some patients, especially those who have fear of enclosed spaces. During the procedure, patients are placed inside a tube-like machine for up to an hour.
- The machine also produces a throbbing noise that can be uncomfortable for some individuals, but other facilities provide headphones with music to address this problem.
Consider getting a radionuclide bone scan.This scan reveals the extent of cancer cells in the body and whether the cancer has already metastasized to other bone structures or not.
- It can also provide an earlier detection of metastases than the usual X-ray procedure, and show the damage caused in the bone by the primary cancer.
- Before the procedure begins, a very low amount of radioactive dye (technetium diphosphonate) is injected into the patient’s vein. This substance is attracted to damaged bone cells throughout the entire body.
- Areas of damaged bone cells can be detected in the bone scan as they appear as dense, gray to black areas (“hot spots”). These areas may be indicative of metastatic cancer.
Talk to your doctor about getting a positron emission tomography (PET) scan.This procedure uses a form of sugar (glucose) that contains a radioactive atom. Cancer cells then absorb this radioactive sugar due to its high rate of metabolism.
- This radioactivity within the body can be detected by a special camera. Through the use of this procedure, the cancer cells in the body can be identified and tumors can be distinguished as benign or malignant.
Using Medical Biopsy
Understand what a biopsy.This is a delicate procedure that collects tissue samples from suspected tumors. The sample is then carefully analyzed under a microscope to determine if the tumor is a form of cancer or other bone disease.
- If cancer is present, the biopsy can distinguish whether it is a primary bone cancer or a metastatic bone cancer. Various kinds of tissue and cell samples are used to diagnose bone cancer; therefore it is important that only experienced surgeons perform the procedure to ensure efficiency.
- The type of biopsy method recommended by surgeons will greatly depend upon the kind of tumor (benign or malignant) and the exact type of tumor (based on bone X-rays, patient’s age and site of tumor).
Talk to your doctor about getting a needle biopsy done.The procedure starts by putting a local anesthetic into the area for biopsy. The substance produces a numbing effect on the identified area. The one of two procedures is used, as follows:
- Fine needle aspiration (FNA):A very thin needle is connected to a syringe to collect a small amount of fluid and some cells from the tumor. A CT scan can be used to guide doctors as to where the needle should go. This procedure is called a CT-guided needle biopsy and is commonly done by an X-ray specialist (interventional radiologist).
- Core needle biopsy:A procedure that uses a larger needle to collect a small cylinder of tissue about inch (0.2 cm) in diameter and ½ inch long. It can better diagnose a primary bone cancer than FNA method.
Get a surgical bone biopsy.This is a surgical procedure that puts a patient under general anesthesia or a nerve block to numb a larger area of the affected structure. It is important that whichever surgeon performs the biopsy is also the one to remove the tumor later.
- Incisional biopsy:The surgeon makes an incision through the skin to reach the tumor mass in order to collect a small tissue sample.
- Excisional biopsy:The surgeon makes an incision through the skin to reach and remove the entire tumor mass.
Recognizing Signs that Cancer has Spread to the Bones
Monitor any decreased alertness you experience.Reduced sensitivity to external factors may be associated with an increased level of calcium in the body.
- Bone tumors compress and destroy bone structures. Because of this, calcium (which is usually stored in the bones) leaks out into the blood, resulting in high calcium levels in the blood, also known as hypercalcemia.
- High levels of calcium interferes with how the brain works, leading to a decreased level of consciousness.
Consider any fractures you’ve experienced recently.The growing tumor in the bones may break the continuity of the bones and lead to fractures.
Watch out for bone pain.As the growing tumor compresses against the nerves and bones, a sharp and excruciating pain is felt. The pain receptors in the area will send signals to the brain as a response to the compression in the bones.
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Date: 19.12.2018, 10:14 / Views: 83151