According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colon cancer each year. A cancer diagnosis is a scary thing, no matter how you swing it. However, finding cancer in its early stages means higher treatment success rates.
Generally, individuals with average risk of colon cancer should receive a colon cancer screening at age 50.
Depending on your risk factors, your doctor may recommend that you begin cancer screenings earlier or more frequently.
Signs and Symptoms of Colon Cancer
Often there are no symptoms. That is why colon cancer is often referred to as the silent killer. However, there are signs and symptoms that all adults should take seriously, including:
- blood in the stool
- a significant change in your bowel movements or habits
- changes in the stool’s consistency
- rectal bleeding
- unexplained weight loss
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should contact your primary care provider.
Diagnosing Colon Cancer
Our Board Certified Gastroenterologists perform a colonoscopy procedure to diagnose and treat early stages of colon cancer. During this procedure a long, flexible tube is inserted through the anus and into the colon to examine the colon and its tissues. Your gastroenterologist can then use miniaturized instruments inserted through the tube to take biopsies or even remove polyps during colonoscopy.
Colon Cancer Treatments in Wausau, WI
Colon cancer treatment varies depending on the cancer’s stage. Your doctor may suggest removing early-stage cancerous polyps within the colon using colonoscopy or minimally-invasive surgery. Cancer in its later stages usually requires more invasive surgical techniques to remove the cancerous tissues. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy destroy any cancerous cells left behind after surgery.
For more information on colon cancer or its symptoms, please contact your Gastrointestinal Associates in Wausau, WI. Call (877) 442-7762 to schedule your appointment for a consultation today!