Bowel cancer – also known as colorectal cancer or colon cancer – is any cancer that affects the colon (large bowel) and rectum (back passage).
A NEW 5 MINUTE TEST FOR BOWEL CANCER TO CUT RISK A new five-minute screening test is set to cut the risk of bowel cancer by a third and save thousands of lives. The Flexi-Scope relays images of the bowel lining to a screen and allows doctors to detect and remove polyps on the bowel wall before they develop into cancer.
SIRT TARGETS TUMORS WITH RADIOACTIVE MICROSPHERES Selective Internal Radiation Spheres (SIRT), from an Australian company, targets tumors with radioactive microspheres.
SIRT stands for Selective Internal Radiation Therapy. It is a new way of using radiotherapy to treat liver cancers that can’t be removed with surgery. SIRT is internal radiotherapy, which is also called brachytherapy. Your doctor inserts a thin tube called a catheter into the hepatic artery. This is the main artery that supplies blood to the liver. They then send tiny beads called microspheres down the catheter and they get stuck in the small blood vessels around the tumour. The microspheres contain a radioactive substance which give a dose of radiation to the tumour. The microspheres are also called ‘SIR- spheres’, and the radioactive substance is called ‘yttrium 90’.
How SIRT works The radiation from the microspheres damages the tumors’ blood supply, so the tumours can’t get the nutrients they need. This process is sometimes called radioembolization. The radiation also damages the DNA of the cancer cells, which stops the cancer cells growing.
The microspheres give off radiation to an area only 2 to 3mm around where they are trapped. This means they cause very little damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. The microspheres only stay radioactive for 10 to 14 days but remain in the liver permanently. They are harmless.
Which cancers SIRT can treat: Advanced bowel cancers that have spread to the liver Cholangiocarcinomas Liver cancer Secondary neuroendocrine tumors that have spread to the liver Cholangiocarcinoma is a cancer that affects the hepatobiliary system, which includes the liver, gall bladder, and bile ducts.