What is Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine and the lower part of the digestive tract. Rectal cancer is cancer of the last few inches of the colon. Colon cancer can also be referred to as colorectal cancer. Usually colon cancer begins in the polyps or small cluster of cells in the colon.

Colon Cancer Symptoms

The following are common symptoms associated with colon cancer:

  • bowel changes
  • rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
  • cramps, gas, pain in the abdomen
  • unexplained weight loss
  • weakness/fatigue

Colon Cancer Risk Factors & Prevention

Risk Factors:

  • over 50 years of age
  • African-American descent
  • family history of colon cancer
  • low fiber, high fat diet
  • inactivity, sedentary lifestyle
  • people with diabetes
  • obesity
  • smoking
  • alcohol

How to Prevent Colon Cancer?

Here are some ways you can lower your risk for colon cancer:

  • eat healthy and exercise
  • drink alcohol moderately
  • stop or quit smoking
  • maintain a healthy weight

If you are over the age of 50, talk to your doctor about getting a colon cancer screening or colonoscopy. Colon cancer screenings can detect polyps in the colon and can detect colon cancer in the early stages. If colon cancer is caught early enough, the chance of survival is very high.

Christian Hospital offers colon cancer screenings. Contact us today to make an appointment.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Colon Cancer

Colon cancer can be diagnosed by a colonoscopy or CT of the colon (colonography). A colonoscopy uses a flexible tube with a camera attached to view the colon and rectum. A colonography uses imaging to create a detailed picture of the inside of the colon.

Once colon cancer has been detected, more tests are scheduled to determine the stage of the colon cancer.

Cancer Stages:

  • Stage I
  • Stage II
  • Stage III
  • Stage IV

Treatment for colon cancer is based on the cancer stage. The most common treatments available at Christian Hospital include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and targeted therapy.

For more information on colon cancer treatment, contact Christian Hospital at 314.747.9355 or email us.