Scanomed - Nukleráis medicina központok

Colorectal cancers

Colorectal cancer is –just like in Hungary- one of the most common cancer type. In Hungary more than 8 thousand people suffer from it annually and 5 thousand patients die of colon cancer. It also occurs among women and men and it mainly affects the age group over 50.


The exact cause of colorectal cancers is unknown, but according to studies the following factors increase the risk of development of colon and rectal cancer:

  • Age. Colorectal cancer is more common in older age, mainly over the age of 50, but it may develop in younger persons, rarely but even in teenagers.
  • Eating habits/diet. Development of the tumor is associated with food containing high amount of fat and calories but less fiber.
  • Polyps. Polyps are benign structures deriving from the internal wall of the colon and the rectum that are very frequently formed over the age of 50. Certain types of polyps may transform in a malignant way. In case of a rare, inherited disease called familial polyposis hundreds of polyps develop in the colon or rectum. Without a treatment, familial polyposis almost surely results in colorectal cancer.
  • Personal medical history. According to research data, the risk of development of colorectal cancer is slightly increased in women who had ovarian, uterine or breast cancer before. The risk is also higher among those who suffered from colorectal cancer earlier; among them the disease may develop for the second time.
  • Family medical history. In case of closest relatives (parents, siblings and children) of patients suffering from colorectal cancer, the incidence of this cancer type is higher, especially if the disease occurred at a younger age. Unfortunately if the cancer is present in more family members, the risk is even higher.
  • Ulcerative colitis. In case of this disease, the epithelium of the colon becomes inflamed and this alteration increases the developmental risk of colorectal cancer.


Frequent signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer:

  • Changing of bowel habits.
  • Diarrhea (loose stool), constipation and the feeling of not having emptied the bowels.
  • Bloody (light red or very dark), mucous stool.
  • Stool is thinner than usual.
  • Uncertain abdominal pain (frequent wind-cholic, spasmodic pain, bloating, feeling of fullness).
  • Vomiting.


The significance of FDG PET-CT examinations in case of colorectal cancers (Colorectal carcinoma)

  • The examination can detect the cancer in a very high ratio, even in a very small size thus may be capable of discovering a tumor of 7-8 mm.
  • With the examination even the so-called cancer-preceding abnormalities are detectable, from which a malignant tumor can or does develop.
  • PET-CT may detect even small metastases at an early stage, and it can prove or exclude metastatic processes in lymph nodes that are hardly judged by other examinations.
  • After termination of the therapy it is able to detect the recurrent cancer even in small size at an early stage.
  • It can prove or exclude the presence of distant metastases which were doubted by other examinations.
  • Radiation therapy is almost always part of the colorectal cancer treatment; in this case PET-CT can show the actual extent of the tumor more precisely. Due to this fact the radiation load of surrounding intact tissues can be reduced. Thus higher radiation dose can be focused on the tumor with the help of which it can be destroyed with a higher chance.