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The most alarming symptom is the reported bright red blood in the stool. This indicates bleeding in a part of the gastrointestinal tract and, in this case, the colon. Significant numbers of colon cancers tend to bleed but slowly. The stool is mainly streaked with blood or is mixed with blood. This blood is barely noticeable, but Murphy was able to notice it, which explains the emergency of the situation. Bleeding can lead to the loss of too much blood, making the patient anemic. In this case, two weeks of bleeding is dangerous and is alarming.
Metastasis means cancer has spread to other body parts. Different factors affect metastasis: the type of cancer and the treatment given. Colon cancer mostly metastasize to the lungs or the liver. Metastasis happens through the lymphatic system or the bloodstream. The cancer cells are then spread to other body parts and multiply. This is because cancers cells have different adaptations. For example, they multiply at a higher rate compared to normal cells.
According to the results obtained, Murphy’s cancer has metastasized to the liver. Upon examination, hepatomegaly was noticed. Hepatomegaly refers to enlargement of the liver, which can be caused by an infection and, in this case, metastasized cancer. The liver is also tender at the edge.
Prognosis is a general medical term used to define the outcome of the condition and what is expected in the future. It gives direction and provides the most likely outcome or result. The survival rate for colon cancer over five years is sixty-three percent. If the cancer is localized, the survival rate is at 91%; if the spread is at the local organs, the prognosis of the survival rate is at 72%. Finally, if cancer has spread to distant organs, the survival rate is 14% (Angell et al., 2020). Therefore Murphy’s survival rate can be estimated at 72% due to metastasis to the liver. However, the prognosis can improve with radical treatment.
Angell, H. K., Bruni, D., Barrett, J. C., Herbst, R., & Galon, J. (2020). The immunoscore: colon cancer and beyond. Clinical cancer research, 26(2), 332-339. https://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/26/2/332.abstract