Colorectal cancer

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is a type of cancerous tumor that affects the colon and the rectum. According to the World Health Organization, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the world. It is ranked second to lung cancer and mostly affects men. In the United States of America, for instance about 1 in 20 people will develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime. Like many other cancers, colorectal cancer has no direct cause, but it is related to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Various research studies have been conducted to explore the pathophysiology of colorectal cancer and factors that would contribute to the disease process or control its progression. This paper reviews three of such research studies with the aim of finding out how research has addressed the health issue.

Research has been conducted to investigate how colorectal cancer can be prevented. In a recent article, scientists have sought to investigate how calcium and vitamin D can help prevent colorectal cancer(Baron et al., 2015). The research has been conducted on the background of scanty literature that links higher intake of calcium and increased serum levels of vitamin D to reduced incidence of colorectal cancer. From the results of this research, 43% of the participants were diagnosed with colorectal cancer regardless of whether they were taking the supplementation or the placebo. The result of this research indicates that daily supplementation of vitamin D and calcium do not lead to reduced risks of colorectal carcinoma or its recurrence(Baron et al., 2015).

Colorectal cancer causes the repealing and ulceration of the alimentary canal. The efficacy of different drugs in the reduction of this ulceration and subsequent refractory of the disease has also been widely studied. In a different research, the efficacy of an oral drug, combining trifluridine and tipiracil (TAS-102) has been investigated in a double-blind study involving 800 patients(Mayer et al., 2015). The results of this research show that the median survival rate of the patients who were treated with TAS-102 improved from 5.3 months to 7.1 months while that of those treated with the placebo remained the same. This indicates that the combination of the two drugs is related directly to the improvement of the survival rates of the patients who have colorectal cancer(Mayer et al., 2015).

One of the most commonly used treatment modality for colorectal cancer is the surgical removal of the adenoma. However, there has been limited research evidence on the mortality rate, related to colorectal cancer, of the patients who have had surgical removal of adenomas. Recent research has sought to bridge this gap by exploring this issue in some depth. In the research, a total of 40,826 patients who had had removal of colorectal adenomas were followed for a median of 7.7 years(Løberg et al., 2014). Through screening and observations, 1273 of the patients were diagnosed with colorectal cancer while over 400 deaths from the same were observed or expected. However, the rate and the risk of death was higher for those who had high-risk adenomas. These results indicate that mortality rate from colorectal cancer significantly reduces with the removal of adenomas as compared to the rate among the general population. Further earlier low-risk adenomas are easier to heal and have a better prognosis than high-risk late diagnosis(Løberg et al., 2014).

The results of these researches have a great impact on the knowledge and practice related to colorectal cancer. First, the first research seeks to dispel the notion that colorectal cancer can be prevented through calcium and vitamin D supplementation. These results indicate that the causative factors for colorectal cancer are not in any way related to the deficiency of vitamin D or calcium in the body(Baron et al., 2015). This affects the study of the specific health issue in that scientists and researchers can focus on a broader sense the etiology of colorectal cancer and demonstrate the possibility of the relationship between the development of the disease and its progression. The research is not an end in itself but opens up more areas of exploration especially related to the functions of Vitamin D and calcium in the body.

From the second research, the efficacy of the two chemotherapeutic drugs in the TAS-102 combination has been proven. This is an indication that the combination works in the alimentary canal to reduce the progression of the disease process and its recurrence. This is good news for the researchers as there is evidence supporting the use of the drugs in the issue(Mayer et al., 2015). However, the research also opens up further exploration into how the drugs can be used in the treatment of other types of cancers based on their mode of action in the particular health issue(Marley & Nan, 2016).

The third research also supports the use of adenomas removal in the reduction of the mortality rate of patients with colorectal cancer(Løberg et al., 2014). From this research removal of adenomas contributes to a significant improvement in the survival rate of patients recovering from colorectal cancer. The indication of this is that the health issue of colorectal cancer can be well handled using both the pharmaceutical and the surgical interventions approved. The higher survival rate related to the low-risk adenomas supports the primary healthcare principle of screening for early diagnosis(Center, Jemal, Smith, & Ward, 2010).

Colorectal cancer is a major killer around the world. It is a serious health issue and among the problems that have attracted a lot of research attention over the years. The research has assisted in demystifying the issue and organizing the thoughts and ideas of stakeholders in seeking a solution to the problem(Marley & Nan, 2016). Through research, it is possible to identify what treatment modalities work and those that do not. In addition, it is possible to increase the general and professional knowledge of the condition that can assist in the treatment of the health issue and related problems. Further, the research, like the one reviewed also opens up more dimensions for future research which then contribute to the solution seeking efforts.

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