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Colorectal carcinoma presenting as spontaneous colocutaneous fistula - A rare case report and review of literature.
Colon cancer presenting as spontaneous enterocutaneous fistula are rare with only few cases reported in the literature. Such presentation signifies locally advanced disease with poorer outcomes. Enterocutaneous fistula increases morbidity and mortality in cancer and may potentially delay the definitive care. It poses a difficulty in management in terms of patient optimization, determining the type of resection (palliative or curative) and the operative timeline.

A 47 years old female presented with complaints of foul smelling discharge from a fistulous opening in right iliac fossa with occasional per rectal bleeding for the past six months. Imaging showed ascending colon mass breaching the peritoneum with fistulous tract opening into subcutaneous plane. Exploratory laparotomy with right hemicolectomy and en bloc resection was performed.

Cutaneous fistula can be caused by traumatic, postoperative etiologies and about 20 % are of spontaneous etiologies. Colon cancer has the ability to mimic any abdominal disease with a wide spectrum of presentations. The locoregional extension from the bowel creates a passage of colonic contents to evacuate from the external opening. The fistulous tract of colon cancer is less likely to close spontaneously and may require surgical intervention following appropriate resuscitation. Due to features suggestive of bowel obstruction an early single stage surgery was performed in our case.

There are no existing guidelines for colon cancer with colocutaneous fistula because they are the same for benign fistulas (resuscitation, control of output, eradication of the infection, nutritional optimization, surgery) along with a multidisciplinary oncology team approach.
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