Colon cancer is diagnosed in over 135,000 people in the United States every year. To quickly identify and treat colon cancer, the experienced oncology team at Wellness Oncology & Hematology offer the latest diagnostic technologies and treatments at their offices in Tarzana and West Hills, California. The board-certified medical team also provide routine colon cancer screenings to reduce your risk of long-term cancer complications. Find out more about treating colon cancer by calling the office nearest you or by requesting an appointment online today.
Colon cancer is a common type of cancer that affects the cells in your large intestine (colon) or your rectum. Abnormal cells begin to grow quickly into growths known as polyps. Over time, polyps can start growing on the lining of your colon and may eventually turn cancerous, especially if the polyp is large or if there are more than two polyps present in the colon.
While not all colon polyps become malignant, those that do can continue to grow and cancerous cells can spread to other areas of your body.
Your risk of colon cancer increases if you have a history of colon polyps, chronic intestinal conditions, and/or other types of cancer. You could also be at increased risk of this type of cancer if your family members have colon cancer.
In the earliest stages, colon cancer might not produce any symptoms. Often, this type of cancer is only discovered during a routine screening, known as a colonoscopy, used to identify abnormal cell growth in the colon or rectum.
As the disease progresses, you can experience common symptoms of colon cancer like:
You can also experience chronic weakness and fatigue and the sensation that your bowels are not completely empty, even after going to the bathroom.
If you have colon cancer symptoms, your Wellness Oncology & Hematology doctor performs a physical exam and discusses your diet, lifestyle, and medical history.
To confirm or rule out colon cancer, your doctor performs a colonoscopy. This procedure uses a flexible scope with an attached camera to explore the structures of your rectum and colon. The camera sends real-time images to a monitor that your doctor views to identify areas of concern.
During the colonoscopy, your Wellness Oncology & Hematology physician might also remove a small sample of tissue for biopsy, a further evaluation under a microscope.
When you have a family history of colon cancer, or if you’re over 50, you should also schedule a routine colonoscopy as part of your preventative health care plan. Colon cancer shows no symptoms early on, so routine screening help identify changes that could indicate cancer in its earliest stages.
Your colon cancer treatment depends on the stage of cancer you’re in and your overall health. In many cases, you can expect a surgical procedure that allows your Wellness Oncology & Hematology specialist to remove cancerous tissue in the lining of the colon or rectum.
You may also need radiation or chemotherapy after surgery to ensure all cancerous cells are destroyed.
Find out more about options for treating colon cancer by calling the office or booking an appointment online today.