I was allowed into an operating theatre this morning - as a surgeon. I did my first surgery for a colorectal cancer patient.
Colon cancer can be treated!
The abdomen is opened with an incision from just below belt line to just below the sternum. This gives open access to the internal organs.
During surgery, the tumor, a small margin of the surrounding healthy bowel, and adjacent lymph nodes are removed. The surgeon then reconnects the healthy sections of the bowel. In patients with rectal cancer, the rectum is permanently removed. The surgeon then creates an opening (colostomy) on the abdomen wall through which solid waste in the colon is excreted. Specially trained nurses (enterostomal therapists) would help patients adjust to colostomies. Most patients with colostomies return to a normal lifestyle.