Dr. Rob’s 360° Tour of the Colon
Hello, it’s Dr. Rob Gillio here today talking about a topic that’s a little bit of a pain in the butt or embarrassing to some talking about…colon cancer. You know, it was part of the Force for Health. We realized that having good health is a gift and we have to maintain that gift. Well, one of the gifts we have is that we have access to our colon, very easily from the outside, through our anus. And so let’s, let’s take a closer look and just take six minutes to talk about colon cancer. If I could, with our Human 360, I’ve I’ve zoomed in on a precancerous polyp in the colon. The anus (butthole) is down here attached to the colon, which is at the tail end of the digestive system. And it’s a very efficient organ for storing all the ash and sludge that’s left over from digestion.
And while it’s being stored, it sucks the water out of it to make it, semi-formed, but it lets your body not lose water, like with a watery diarrhea. When the colon is sick with colon cancer, first or early stage of it, called Stage 0, it’s something I’ve had. It’s a precancerous polyp, no symptoms. It just is a little stalk of tissue the size of a giant zit hanging from the inside of your colon. And, you know, with that, they can snip it off through a colonoscope. The scope can come right on up, through the anus to that area. In fact, the entire inside can be explored. A doctor sometimes will screen for anal cancer, just with a finger inside of a glove and just feeling around to see if there’s a lump or a bump. It’s a wonderful gift to be able to find it early.
If you wait a little longer, when it’s at stage one, it’s embedded into the wall a little bit, but it hasn’t gone other places. So now we have to take out a ring here and reconnect things. but this piece of cancer needs to be removed with a surgery, an open surgery.
If we were to talk about a stage two cancer, that cancer, gets larger like this. As things grow, it gets to be something called stage three, these little green structures here, they’re, colored green, but in the human body, they’re really not green they’re, just kind of like a, a pinkish white color, the lymphatics, they catch drainage of extra fluid. That’s in the wall of the colon. And if there’s cancer growing in that wall, sometimes some of the cells in that drainage will catch in these little things called regional lymph nodes.
If you look at that, that region, now we have an issue where this region is affected, but nowhere else But in stage three, it’s gotten beyond the colon. And if it’s gotten this far, we’re not sure how far else it’s gotten. You have to be more aggressive with the surgery and the treatments still at this stage. There’s probably no symptoms until this tumor grows very large and starts blocking things or there might be a little bit of blood. There might be diarrhea or constipation altering of you’re a bowel habits. Very rarely is there pain. So changing in your bowel habits or blood, is a reason to get checked, but also statistically it’s important to get screened, either with a colon inspection with something like a Cologuard. It is one of those wonderful, genetics, tests that is looking at, shedded cancer cell, material that can be picked up in a stool sample without even any colonoscope.
Let’s look at what I want to avoid stage four. Notice I’ve zoomed out from the colon. It has gotten into the bloodstream. It’s gotten so bad in that wall that it sloughs cancer cells. And then when it gets in the bloodstream, it can travel through these vessels. These blue vessels are our veins and when it travels there, it sometimes gets caught in other areas, eventually going to the heart and then circulated anywhere in the entire human body. It is oftentimes that the liver is where most of the blood supply goes from the bowel. Your nutrients and things go through the liver to get filtered before it goes to the portal vein and such back to your inferior vena cave into your heart.
Lesion in the liver in both sides of the liver is very bad that usually can’t be operated on successfully. If it’s in both longs, it can’t be operated on successfully because you can’t get rid of it. When you’re at stage four, it is much more difficult to treat because it’s not as simple surgery. It may involve chemotherapy, radiation, and certainly pain and discomfort.
But you know what is not painful? It’s getting a cancer screening, with a, a stool test or with being seen by a gastroenterologist and having a colonoscopy or some other colon investigation.
All right. You know, your health is a real thing. Let’s play the Reality Health Games. You can get a lot of points if you get a colonoscopy, if you’re supposed to get one, especially if you’re over age 50, Hey, it saved my life and I’m not embarrassed to talk about it. How about you ask your family members to help you make the appointment to get a colonoscopy or to talk to your doctor about it. If you have any questions, take care of this.
I am Dr. Rob wishing you a healthy functioning colon. Take care. Bye