Colon Cancer in Texas
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What is colon cancer?
The colon is the final portion of the digestive tract, where the body extracts fluid and salt from the remnants of food. Colon and rectal cancer occurs when tumorous masses develop in the colon or rectum. The tumors generally begin as harmless growths called polyps. Polyps are little clumps of cells that eventually can become colorectal tumors.
Colorectal cancer is more common in mature adults and is the second-most common cancer detected in both females and males.
It is critical to begin receiving colonoscopies at age 45 and then as advised by your gastrointestinal (GI) doctor. To request a colorectal cancer screening, please contact a Texas Digestive Disease Consultants location near you.
What are the symptoms and risk factors of colon cancer?
Should you experience the initial symptoms of colon cancer, prompt care could help benefit you with a more positive outcome. If you are encountering any of the following signs or symptoms persistently, speak with one of our Texas gastroenterologists as soon as possible:
- Ongoing abdominal discomfort, like cramps, bloating, or pain
- A sudden change in bowel movements, including constipation, diarrhea, or an alteration in stool consistency
- Rectal bleeding
- A sense that your bowel does not fully empty
- Discomfort during bowel movements
- A persistent urge to defecate
- Any of this list accompanied by weakness and fatigue
Factors that could place an individual at greater risk for colon and rectal cancer include:
- Age: Colon and rectal cancer is commonly diagnosed in individuals over 50. However, the rate of colorectal cancer in younger patients has increased.
- Race: Persons of African-American heritage have an increased risk of colon cancer comparable to other races.
- Family history: If you or a family member has had colorectal cancer or colon polyps, you have an increased risk of colon cancer.
- Inflammatory GI conditions: Persistent conditions, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, can raise your risk of colon and rectal cancer.
- “Typical Western diet”: Colon cancer is linked to a low-fiber, high-fat, and high-calorie diet.
What are the survival rates for colon cancer?
Cancer survival rates are divided into groups and subject to the degree the disease has spread upon diagnosis. Limited colon cancer is cancer that is strictly in the colon. Regional colon cancer is when the disease spreads to surrounding tissues and organs. Distant colon cancer is when the disease progresses to distant areas of the body.
- Localized colon cancer: 90% 5-year survival rate
- Regional colon cancer: 71% 5-year survival rate
- Distant colon cancer: 14% 5-year survival rate
If the cancer is identified early and only manifests in a few malignant tumors, the tumors generally can be removed, resulting in remarkably high survival rates.
We recommend that patients undergo a colonoscopy once they turn 45 to help detect cancer as early as possible. If colon cancer runs in your family history, we may advise screening for colon cancer even earlier. The Texas Digestive Disease Consultants team can help ensure you get the care you need for your colon health.
What are the treatments for colorectal cancer?
Treatment for colorectal cancer in Texas patients can vary based on the severity of the condition. Every situation is unique, but the most significant thing you can do for colorectal cancer is to prevent it entirely.
Avoidance: Colorectal cancer is a unique type of cancer because it is avoidable. Colorectal cancer first manifests in the form of polyps. These growths can be extracted, which lowers the risk of dying from cancer by 90 percent. Your personal risk and prevention steps can be determined during a colorectal cancer screening with your gastroenterologist.
Stage 0 Colon Cancer Treatment: Stage 0 colon cancer is when the colon cancer has not dispersed beyond the interior lining of the colon. If the growth is small enough, it can be removed with a colonoscope during the process of a colonoscopy.
Stage I Colon Cancer Treatment: If the tumor is thoroughly eliminated during a colonoscopy with no cancer cells at the edges, no further intervention may be needed. If the eliminated polyp shows cancerous tissue at the edges, further extraction may be necessary to remove any remaining cancerous cells. For cancers not in tumor form, a partial colectomy could be required to remove the affected portion of the colon and neighboring lymph nodes that are cancerous.
Stage II Colon Cancer Treatment: In stage 2, surgery is generally carried out to remove the area of the colon or nearby lymph nodes containing cancer. At times, physicians will also advise adjuvant chemotherapy (chemo following surgery).
Stage III Colon Cancer Treatment: A partial colectomy followed by adjuvant chemotherapy is the standard treatment for this stage of colon cancer.
Stage IV Colon Cancer Treatment: This phase of the condition typically means the disease has spread to other tissues or portions of the body. Surgery may be needed to excise cancerous areas identified in the colon and other organs, in addition to chemotherapy. Chemotherapy at this stage is commonly administered before and after surgery.
Colon Cancer FAQs
What are the causes behind colorectal cancer?
The exact cause of colon and rectal cancer is unknown, it develops when cell mutation in the inner wall of the rectum or colon multiply beyond control, causing a growth or tumor. There are specific things that could elevate the risk of colon or rectal cancer. These factors can include lifestyle choices, like using tobacco or drinking alcohol, inadequate amounts of physical activity, and poor nutritional habits, along with having a familial or genetic predisposition.
How is colon cancer detected?
Colorectal cancer is generally diagnosed during a screening for the disease. A colonoscopy exam is the most commonly performed, precise, and thorough testing option for finding colon and rectal cancer. Additional tests, like flexible sigmoidoscopy, virtual colonoscopy, double-contrast barium enema, and fecal tests, could also be performed during a screening for colorectal cancer. Your Texas Digestive Disease Consultants gastrointestinal specialist will recommend the appropriate option for screening and diagnosis for your health needs.
How quickly does colon cancer develop?
Colorectal cancer is generally slow-growing in most instances. The disease often arises as a noncancerous polyp or growth in the large intestine or rectum that turns malignant over time. Experiencing symptoms when polyps are present is uncommon, making regular colon cancer screenings critical to diagnosing this disease as soon as possible.
Can colon cancer be prevented?
Colon cancer can commonly be prevented with routine colon cancer exams. Given that most cases of colorectal cancer begin as premalignant polyps, getting screened as recommended by your provider can help minimize your chances of getting this disease. Our gastrointestinal specialists can provide additional details on how to lower your risk for colon cancer when you visit our team for a consultation.
Expert care for colorectal cancer
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer, know that expert care is close at hand. At Texas Digestive Disease Consultants, our providers place the comfort and safety of our patients above all else. For more on colorectal cancer and how it might be detected and prevented, or to get treatment for colorectal cancer in Texas, request a consultation at a location near you.
Colon Cancer Videos
My name is Jaynie and I can’t say enough how grateful I am to have found DR Tsiakos he’s such an amazing doctor so efficient gentle and caring . He truly cares about his patients and being diagnosed with colon cancer at a young age he is so compassionate and mindful of everything I have gone through this year . Communicated with my oncologist to make sure I get the best care . I am now In remission and got my colonoscopy he pretty much held my hand through the process of nervousness and worry . He’s truly an angel thank you doctor !
Jody Houston and his staff are very concerned about keeping you healthy. My 5 year colonoscopy was due and his office did not stop until they made an appointment with. Spoke to Dr Houston and his words were you are not getting colon cancer on my watch. He is the best by far you owe it to yourself to use his services.
I have a family history of colon cancer so have gone to Dr. Mehta several times for colonoscopy. He and his team are always efficient, professional, and courteous. Highly recommended
I had my annual visit for my stomach problem and 5 year check to schedule my colonoscopy for prevention of family history of colon cancer. Dr. Mani and staff treated me with the utmost care. Everything was done very professionally, polite and friendly. Thank you for your service.
Dr. Steephen is awesome. I have know Dr Steephen since 2001, when my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. Dr. Steephen is compassionate, caring, professional, honest and a wonderful human being. I would and have recommended her for years and continue to be a loyal patient.