Colon cancer is the third-most diagnosed cancer in Americans today, but it’s preventable and treatable. At Gastrointestinal Consultants in Tavares, Orlando, and The Villages, Florida, the team of board-certified gastroenterologists headed by Lalbahadur Nagabhairu, MD, and Shams Tabrez, MD, offers all-encompassing colon cancer care including screening, diagnosis, and treatment. Book your appointment by calling the office or clicking the appointment scheduler now.
Colon cancer is a malignant growth inside the large intestine (colon). The average age of colon cancer diagnosis is 68 in men and 72 in women, but it can develop much earlier in life as well.
Colon cancer is currently the third-most common type of cancer affecting Americans, and in men and women combined, it’s the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths.
In most cases, colon cancer starts as clusters of abnormal cells, which are called polyps. While not all polyps turn into colon cancer, having colon cancer screening and removing all polyps is the most effective strategy in preventing colon cancer.
Thanks to advanced colon cancer screening methods like colonoscopy, colon cancer is now preventable.
Colon cancer is frequently asymptomatic in its earlier stages. That’s why you can’t count on symptoms as a warning sign. Over time, as the cancer progresses, you can expect symptoms such as:
The exact symptoms can vary based on the cancer’s location. For example, right-sided colon cancer often causes weight loss and anemia, while left-sided cancers are more likely to cause bowel habit changes and bleeding.
American Cancer Society® guidelines state that all adults with an average risk of colon cancer should start screening at age 45.
If you have a higher risk of colon cancer, the Gastrointestinal Consultants team may recommend starting at age 40, perhaps earlier in some situations.
Some of the leading risk factors for colon cancer include being African-American, having a family history of the disease or a personal history of inflammatory gastrointestinal disease, and carrying extra weight.
Colonoscopy is the most common method of colon cancer screening because it provides the most complete picture of your colon health. The team can also remove polyps during a colonoscopy.
However, some people may need to use other methods like stool tests or flexible sigmoidoscopy based on their unique medical situation.
Colon cancer is treatable with surgical tumor removal and chemotherapy. If caught in the early stages before it spreads, colon cancer surgery has a 90% survival rate after five years. But, it’s much easier to prevent colon cancer than treat it.
Gastrointestinal Consultants strongly recommends colon cancer screening because it’s the strongest weapon you have against colon cancer. To schedule your colonoscopy or get help for colon cancer, call the office or click on the provided link now.