In the majority of cases, colorectal cancer can develop from benign endometrial polyposis which turns malignant with time. If this development is tracked and stopped in time, the chances of a successful cure could be as high as 90%.
We take scarcely any notice of the existence and function of our digestive system until we are alerted by alarm signals, such as stomach pain, diarrhoea or constipation, or dysfunction/disease of the gastrointestinal tract. However, in the case of a malignant disease, it is often the case that these warning symptoms occur so late that a cure, which would have been possible if treatment had been started earlier, is no longer possible. However, especially in the case of the colon, new tissue formation can be detected at such an early stage that it is still benign or at an early enough stage to allow the patient to be completely cured.
The most accurate method, by which intestinal polyps, the benign early stages of colon cancer, and colon cancer itself can be diagnosed with a greater degree of certainty, is imaging of the colon: colonoscopy.
Colonoscopy is the best option. This involves obtaining a view of the intestine which allows the physician to see directly into the colon, into all its nooks and crannies, to see whether a tumour is present or if there is evidence of a pre-cancerous stage of an intestinal tumour. This can then be removed.
As far as the investigation itself is concerned, this is generally a fast and uncomplicated procedure. It lasts from ten minutes to about an hour. The preparation takes a bit longer since the patient needs to clean out their intestine and this is done by drinking a special solution; the patient needs about two to three hours for this in the evening and then two to three hours the next morning, before the investigation is carried out. If the preparation of the intestine has been carried out properly, the tiniest changes in the intestinal mucosa can then be seen. Polyps diagnosed as being benign can be removed surgically. In this case it is a small polyp, a so-called "polyp bud", which is removed using biopsy pincers. At the same time the site of removal is subjected to heat-treatment.