At the Sky Ridge Cancer Center, our team uses the most advanced treatment and therapies available to find and treat colon cancer at the earliest stage possible. We will create a treatment plan that is right for you – all in a compassionate, healing environment close to your home.
Did you know that colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States? However, it is up to 90% curable if detected early. The American Cancer Society now recommends that adults at average risk of colorectal cancer start regular screening at age 45. No butts, no excuses...get screened.
What is Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon), the lower part of your digestive system. Rectal cancer is cancer of the last several inches of the colon. Together, they're often referred to as colorectal cancers.
Most cases of colon cancer begin as small, noncancerous growths called polyps. Over time some of these polyps become colon cancer. Polyps may be small and produce few, if any, symptoms. For this reason, we recommend regular screening tests to help prevent colon cancer by identifying and removing polyps before they become cancerous.
Common signs and symptoms for colon cancer include:
- A change in bowel habits that lasts for more than a few days
- A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by doing so
- Rectal bleeding
- Blood in your stool
- Cramping or abdominal pain
- Weakness and fatigue
- Unintended weight loss
Colon Cancer Risk Factors
How do you know if you’re likely to have colon cancer? Being over 45 years old increases your chance of colon cancer. Other factors that may increase your chance of colon cancer include:
- A personal history of inflammatory bowel disease
- A personal or family history of colorectal cancer or polyps
- Diet high in red meat and low in produce
- Drinking more than one drink a day (women) or two drinks a day (men)
- Having an inherited syndrome (i.e. familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or Lynch Syndrome)
- Having type 2 diabetes
- Less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day
- Overweight or obese
Treatment options for Colon Cancer
Our team of doctor, nurses, surgeons and healthcare professionals will work together to create a treatment plan that is individualized for you. This may include:
- Scheduled screenings to help prevent Colon Cancer:
- Colonoscopy – looks at the entire colon and rectum with a small tube and video camera (still the gold standard)
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy - looks at a part of the colon and rectum with a small tube and video camera
- Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) and Guaiac-based fecal occult blood tests (gFOBT) – looks for blood in a stool sample
- Stool DNA Test
Choose Sky Ridge Medical Center for Colon Cancer care because we offer:
- Multidisciplinary, team approach to care
- Screening for Colon and Rectal Cancers
- Cancer Resource Center for support and education
- Cancer registry for lifetime follow up
- GI Cancer Nurse Navigator to help with support and coordination
- Infusion Services for chemotherapy treatment
- On-site Radiation Oncology services
- Weekly cancer case conference for medical teams
- Access to colorectal cancer clinical research trials
Below Dr. Ken Blake discusses signs, symptoms and treatment for colon cancer.