Colon (Colorectal) Cancer
Colorectal Cancer Treatment in Fort Myers
Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the colon or rectum. Together they are the large intestine. Colorectal cancer is a term used to describe cancers that affect either of these organs. While not always the case, the majority of colorectal malignancies typically start as precancerous polyps and progress over time.
A family history of colon or rectal cancer, diet, alcohol consumption, smoking, and inflammatory bowel disease are some of the risk factors for colorectal cancer. There are about 50,000 people who die from colorectal cancer each year in the U.S. and colon cancer has the second highest death rate of all cancers.
Symptoms and Treatment Options
Don’t ignore the symptoms of colon cancer:
- Bloody stools
- Rectal bleeding
- Unexplained weight loss or fatigue
- Cramping in the lower stomach
- Change in bowel habits
These things are not normal, so talk to your doctor immediately.
Remember, too, that patients who face colon cancer have a variety of treatment options based on the severity of the disease. In its earliest stage, colon cancer is highly treatable.
Colorectal Disease Diagnosis and Screening
Lee Health gastroenterologists use a variety of tests and procedures to screen for and diagnose colorectal disease, including one or more of the following:
- Colonoscopy: An exam that allows doctors to see inside the colon and rectum using a camera attached to a thin, flexible tube (called a colonoscope). Colonoscopy allows doctors to examine the entire colon.
- Sigmoidoscopy: Also known as flexible sigmoidoscopy, this test is similar to a colonoscopy — both are used to screen for or diagnose various types of colorectal disease, using a camera attached to a colonoscopy. Sigmoidoscopy only looks at the last portion of the colon closest to the rectum, called the sigmoid colon. Learn more about the differences between colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy.
- Endoscopic Ultrasound: or EUS is a procedure that combines endoscopy and ultrasound to capture high-quality images of the digestive tract. It’s often used to help diagnose colon cancer.
- Capsule Endoscopy: is a procedure that uses a tiny camera, which is placed inside a pill-sized capsule and swallowed, to take pictures of the gastrointestinal tract. The images are recorded on a device worn around the waist.
- Anal Manometry: is a test used to evaluate how well the muscles in the anus and rectum are working. It’s frequently used to diagnose fecal incontinence or chronic constipation.