Cancer of Intestine.
THIS disease is much less frequent than cancer of the stomach, constituting about five per cent of all cases of cancer. It occurs usually about the middle period of life. We are in absolute ignorance of its causation in this region. The rectum is the most favorable part of the bowel for its development, the large intestine next, and then the small intestine.
Symptoms. Intestinal hemorrhage, pain; emaciation, irregular movements of the bowels, pain in the sacral region, radiating to the genitals and down the course of the sciatic nerves (in case of rectal cancer), are among some of the indefinite symptoms of cancer of the bowels. When well marked and when located favorably, a tumor may be discovered by palpation, but often this cannot be felt and the masses which at first seem to indicate cancer may afterward prove to be merely fecal accumulations. When the mass can be felt in the rectum the diagnosis becomes clearer. The prognosis of the disease is extremely unfavorable.
Treatment. As for treatment, only in rare cases is much aid ever procured. The formation of an artificial anus in the left flank may avert for a while the final end. The injection of the new cancer serum is still of doubtful success. Opiates to relieve pain, nourishing food frequently repeated, and the use of antiseptic enemas, are, for the most part, the chief measures that afford relief.
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