At Nevada Surgery & Cancer Care, we not only focus on colon cancer treatment but also education on colon cancer prevention. The first sign of colon cancer is normally a colorectal polyp, and to treat this cancer properly, early detection is key. Learn more about colon cancer screenings and how they can help reduce your risk.
Colorectal cancer, which can be either colon cancer or rectal cancer, starts when polyps in the large intestine develop into cancerous cells. Polyps are usually small benign clumps of cells that form in the lining of the colon. However, if left untreated for a long period of time, polyps can become cancerous.
Anyone can develop polyps. However, colon cancer is more common in people over 50, people who are overweight, people who smoke, and people with a family history of colorectal cancer.
The development of polyps
There are several types of polyps, but the main two are adenomatous and hyperplastic. Adenomatous polyps are the most common type of polyp to turn cancerous. The likelihood of an adenomatous polyp becoming cancerous depends on its size and whether there are multiple polyps in the area. Hyperplastic polyps, on the other hand, are often less likely to become cancerous unless they are located in the ascending colon or appear serrated under a microscope.
Many cancers are more easily treated when they are detected early. If your cancer goes undiagnosed and untreated, it can become fatal when found in later stages. Most of the time, patients don’t always have symptoms of colon cancer.
However, it is important to contact a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Rectal bleeding
- Changes in the color of your stool
- Changes in your bowel habits (prolonged constipation or diarrhea)
- Nausea, abdominal pain, or vomiting
- Deficiency of iron
Colon cancer prevention
Polyps themselves are not a significant threat; however, having ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease of the colon can increase your risk of colon cancer. Polyps often exist without symptoms, so regular screenings are the safest and most preventative way to fight cancer.
Here are some of the most popular methods doctors use to detect colon cancer:
- Stool blood tests
- Stool DNA test
Doctors recommend patients start getting regular colon cancer screenings after 50, or if you notice any of the symptoms listed above.
Schedule Your Colon Cancer Screening
At Nevada Surgery & Cancer Care, we provide education and screenings for colon cancer and gynecologic cancers. Contact our office to schedule your screening to start learning more about colon cancer prevention today.