Colo-Rectal cancer is cancer arising from the colon or rectum, more common after the age of 50 years, and among the Chinese. It is one of the easily prevented cancers because it can develop from polyps that can be removed before they become cancerous.

What is Incontinence And What Causes Incontinence?

Bowel Incontinence is Impaired Ability to Control Gas or Stool.

There are many cause of incontinence and these include:

  • Injury to anal muscles during childbirth

  • Injury to nerves of the anal muscles during childbirth

  • Operations involving the anal region

  • Traumatic injury involving the anal region

  • Diseases affecting the nerves that control the anal muscles eg Diabetes, stroke

  • Aging

  • Stool consistency it is easier for the anal sphincter muscle hold on to solid stool, rather than liquid stool

How is the Cause of Incontinence Determined?

  • Through history

  • Examination of the anal region may identify an obvious injury to the anal muscles.
    An ultrasound probe can be used within the anal area.
    Anal manometry, (a small catheter placed into the anus to record pressure as patients relax and tighten the anal muscles) can demonstrate muscle strength.
    Nerve function test for nerves supplying anal muscles

    What can be done to correct the bowel incontinence?

  • Dietary changes

  • Avoid Constipating medications

  • Muscle strengthening exercises

  • Biofeedback to help patient sense when stool is ready to be evacuated and help strengthen the muscles.

  • Surgical muscle repair

Artificial Anal Sphincter

When there is nerve damage or anal muscles are damaged beyond repair, an artificial sphincter may be implanted. The artificial sphincter is a plastic, fluid filled doughnut that is surgically implanted around the damaged anal sphincter. This artificial sphincter keeps the anal canal closed. When an individual wants to have a bowel movement, the fluid can be pumped out of the doughnut to allow the anal canal to open.

Colostomy: In extreme cases colostomy may be the best option for improving the quality of life.

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