Types and stages of colon cancer
As is the case with most cancers, it is possible for anyone to develop colon cancer at some point in his or her life. However, certain people are at a greater risk of developing a colon cancer than others. Men have a slightly higher risk of getting colon cancer than women. Among ethnic groups, African Americans tend to have an elevated risk of colon cancer.
Dr. Singh, Dr. Rashbaum, Dr. Nitin Parikh, Dr. Long B. Nguyen, Tammi D’Elena, PA-C; and Vanessa T. Dang, MSN, APRN; recommend that healthy individuals with normal risk factors for colon cancer still have their first colonoscopy at age 50. They should have follow-up screenings every 10 years. African Americans should have a colonoscopy beginning at age 45. Anyone with a family history of colon cancer should begin screening 10 years prior to when the youngest relative was diagnosed as well as more frequent future appointments.
Did You Know?
A cancer of the large intestine, colon cancer forms from growths like polyps and tumors that occur along the wall of the intestine. Although it is the second most commonly occurring cancer in the United States, colon cancer progresses slowly. If detected early, colon cancer is treatable. This makes colon cancer prevention extremely important.
Colon Cancer Screening
During a colonoscopy procedure, Dr. Singh, Dr. Rashbaum, Dr. Nitin Parikh, and Dr. Long B. Nguyen examine the large and small intestines using a colonoscope, which is a four-foot flexible tube about the width of a finger. The colonoscope has a camera and light, which allows them to perform a visual inspection and locate any ulcers, colon polyps, tumors or areas of inflammation. A colonoscopy is also the method by which they remove colon tissue for a biopsy. A pathologist examines the biopsied tissue under a microscope for cancer and pre-cancerous cells. Learn more+
Symptoms of Colon Cancer
There are a number of symptoms associated with colon cancer:
- Abdominal pain
- Changes in bowel habits
- Weakness or fatigue
- Rectal bleeding
- Unexplained weight loss
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to schedule a colonoscopy! Unfortunately, many of these symptoms do not appear during the earliest stages of colon cancer. Regular colonoscopies are the best way to guard against colon cancer and promote good general colon health.
The good news is that, when detected early, colon cancer is treatable. Common methods of treatment include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. If your colonoscopy does yield an abnormal result, Dr. Singh, Dr. Rashbaum, Dr. Nitin Parikh, Dr. Long B. Nguyen, Tammi D’Elena, PA-C; and Vanessa T. Dang, MSN, APRN; will sit down with you to go over your treatment options in a respectful and compassionate manner.
Types of Colon Cancer
Colon Cancer itself can be broken down into two categories:
Local: Local colon cancer is contained to the actual affected area within the lower intestine (with a chance to spread). Local colon cancer carries with it this list of symptoms:
- Noticeable changes in bowel habits
- Bright red or dark red blood in your stool
- The feeling as though you cannot empty your bowels completely
- Bloating, gas pains, cramping around the abdomen
Systemic: Systemic colon cancer has a profound effect on your entire body which carries this list of symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Mysterious weight loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Extreme fatigue
Board certified physicians Dr. Singh, Dr. Rashbaum, Dr. Nitin Parikh, Dr. Long B. Nguyen, and providers Tammi D’Elena, PA-C; and Vanessa T. Dang, MSN, APRN; care for patients in the north Atlanta, GA; area including Alpharetta, GA; Johns Creek, GA; Cumming GA; and Lawrenceville, GA. The In-House Endoscopy Suite at Digestive Care Physicians is a Certified facility which has achieved the highest level of accreditation by the Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). If you suffer from gastrointestinal problems or any of the symptoms associated with colon cancer do not delay! Contact us at (770) 227-2222 to schedule an appointment.