Colorectal cancer can develop for years without a single symptom, and once it progresses beyond the early stages, it can be extremely dangerous. That’s why it’s important for anyone over age 50 to schedule regular screenings for colon cancer, available at Colorado Gastroenterology. Call the Denver, Aurora, or Golden office today.
Colorectal cancer refers to cancers that grow in the colon, or large intestine, including those that occur in the last section of the colon, called the rectum. Colon cancer can affect anyone, but it’s most frequently found in older adults, after developing in clumps of cells called polyps that form along the intestinal walls.
While these polyps are often non-cancerous, or benign, at first, they can become dangerous very quickly.
Colorado Gastroenterology recommends that you get regular screenings to check for the formation of polyps.
Signs and symptoms of colon cancer can include:
It’s common for colorectal cancer to cause no noticeable symptoms until the disease reaches its later stages, so frequent screenings are extremely important. Symptoms often vary based on the size, location, and severity of your cancer.
The best way to diagnose colon cancer is with a regularly scheduled screening, especially a colonoscopy, at Colorado Gastroenterology. Treating colon cancer is much easier when it’s caught early, so once you reach age 50, you should schedule a colonoscopy or other colon cancer screening about every five to 10 years.
During a colonoscopy, a thin tube with a camera on its tip is inserted through the anus and used to get a view of the inside of your lower digestive tract. This allows your Colorado Gastroenterology provider to examine your colon, as well as take a biopsy of any potentially cancerous tissue if necessary. A blood test may also be used to look for signs of colon cancer.
If cancer is present, there are a variety of treatment options, each with its own strengths and drawbacks. Therapies like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery may all be effective, depending on the location and severity of your cancer. Your Colorado Gastroenterology specialist can discuss the steps to take should you receive a colon cancer diagnosis.
If you’re due for your next colorectal cancer screening, or if you have any questions, call Colorado Gastroenterology today.