About Colorectal Cancer
Making a Difference for Patients with Colon Cancer
You don't have to travel far for excellent colorectal cancer care. Our team of board-certified and specially-trained physicians, nurses and other cancer specialists meet regularly to evaluate cases and develop the most effective treatment strategies. Patients have access to cutting-edge clinical trials and minimally invasive procedures such as endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) and Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT).
In both men and women, colorectal cancer is the third most diagnosed type of cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death. The majority of these cases can be prevented by using existing prevention knowledge and by increasing the use of screening tests. Colorectal cancer is cancer that develops in the colon (large intestine) or rectum. Anyone can get colorectal cancer, but the vast majority of cases occur in people age 50 and older. In addition, those with a family history of the disease, those who are obese or consume high-fat diets or high amounts of alcohol are at greater risk for colorectal cancer.
Early colorectal cancer has no symptoms, which is why screening is so important. It most often starts as a polyp (small growth) in the intestine. Patients should see their doctors if they experience any later symptoms of colorectal cancer such as bleeding from the rectum or blood in the stool, sudden anemia, cramping in the lower stomach, fatigue, vomiting, or sudden weight loss.
Diagnosis and Staging
Colorectal cancer is diagnosed through physical exams, x-rays, colonoscopies, biopsies and several other tests. The extent of the disease is also determined through these tests, as well as blood tests, ultrasounds or sometimes CT scans. Once the cancer is properly staged, physicians and patients can develop the best course of treatment.
Surgery is the most common form of treatment if cancer hasn't spread to other areas. Radiation and chemotherapy are sometimes used in conjunction with surgery. Treatment options depend on the stage of cancer, previous treatments conducted and the patient's overall health.