Secondary Bowel Cancer
If the cancer in the bowel is not detected and removed at an early stage, part of the tumour can break off from the main bowel tumour and spread, usually via the lymphatic system or bloodstream, to nearby lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
Your cancer may be advanced when it is first diagnosed. Or it may come back some time after you are first treated.
If you place your right hand over the area under the ribs on the right side of your body it will just about cover the area of your liver. It is divided into two main parts (left and right lobes). Each of these lobes is further divided into segments.
The liver is connected to the first part of the small bowel (duodenum) by a tube called the bile duct. This duct takes the bile produced by the liver to the intestine.
The lungs are a pair of cone-shaped breathing organs in the chest. The lungs bring oxygen into the body as you breathe in. They release carbon dioxide, a waste product of the body's cells, as you breathe out.
Each lung has sections called lobes. The left lung have two lobes. The right lung is slightly larger and has three lobes.
Two tubes called bronchi lead from the trachea (windpipe) to the right and left lungs.
All the organs in the abdomen are contained inside a big sac or membrane called the peritoneum.
Bowel cancer can spread through blood and lymph circulation, or it can spread directly inside this sac if a tumour grows through the bowel wall before it is diagnosed.
Cancer cells can break off from the main tumour and escape into the abdomen, lodging between the lining (the peritoneum) and the other organs or tissues that are contained there.
RAS Biomarker Test
The development of biological therapies, also known as targeted therapies, is an exciting step forward in the treatment of cancer as it may be possible to destroy cancer cells without damaging other healthy cells.
This is a relatively new field of research and many therapies are still experimental.
Targeted therapies are usually given in combination with other standard chemotherapy treatments.
My Cancer Genome
Knowledge of the genetic mutations associated with different cancer types is increasing rapidly and is already influencing treatment choices.
The My Cancer Genome website is a database of information on genes, genetic mutations and cancer. It includes information on the latest research and the latest treatments across many cancer types (including bowel cancer).
The website also highlights the benefits of genetic testing especially when knowledge of a particular gene mutation can affect treatment decisions.
What I Need to Ask?
A bowel cancer diagnosis, or being told by your doctor that you may have bowel cancer, can come as quite a shock.
It is a time when you need to ask lots of important questions of your doctor and/or specialist. You will have many thoughts running through your head and may find it difficult to think clearly.
Below is a list of helpful questions you may like to ask your doctor and/or treating specialist.
Bowel Cancer Austraila's What I Need to Ask questions are categorised according to the different circumstances in which you may find yourself, as well as the type of treatment sought.
Also known as personlised, targeted, or biological therapies - precision medicine works in a variety of ways, including blocking receptors that send growth and survival signals into cells or engaging the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells.
Precision medicines are usually given in combination with other standard chemotherapy treatments.
The development of precision medicine is an exciting step in the treatment of advanced bowel cancer as it may make it possible to destroy cancer cells without damaging other, healthy cells. As a result, precision medicine makes it possible for your oncologist to tailor your treatment program to: reduce side effects; extend survival, and limit toxicity exposure.
Selective Internal Radiation Therapy
Radiation is an effective way to destroy cancer cells and shrink tumours.
It is widely used in the management of many cancer types, at different stages of the disease and in a variety of combinations with other treatment strategies.
However, radiation destroys healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Conventional radiotherapy or external-beam radiation therapy delivered from outside the body does not therefore suit every situation. The liver can only tolerate small doses of external radiotherapy.
Living with Secondaries
Our Bowel Cancer Community tell us that being given a diagnosis of secondary bowel cancer - cancer that has spread to other parts of the body - is a very frightening experience.
It can take some time to come to terms with what that means for you and your family, and to understand what your options might be - for treatment and for your quality of life. Read More
Bowel Cancer App
In the era of personalised medicines and oral chemotherapy taken at home, Bowel Cancer Australia is getting Aussies ready for the future of patient care with a new bowel cancer app.
Bowel Cancer Australia chief executive Mr Julien Wiggins said the days of the passive patient are long gone.
"The ways people seek information, their interaction with health professionals and how they manage their conditions are now significantly different to what they were a decade ago," he added.
Bowel Cancer Australia's nurses support bowel cancer patients and their families by phone and email.
Whether you are worried about symptoms, recently diagnosed or living with bowel cancer our nurses are on hand to offer support and answer your questions and concerns.
Call the Bowel Cancer Australia Helpline on 1800 555 494.
You can also download or order hard copies of our patient booklets and factsheets which cover all aspects of bowel cancer.