Colon Polyps and Cancer

Most colon cancer begins as an abnormal growth of tissue known as a polyp. Polyps may be benign (i.e., not cancer) or malignant (i.e., cancer). If the polyp is cancerous then it usually grows slowly over several years. There are several types of colon cancer, but more than 95 percent of colon cancers are known as adenocarcinoma. We do not know the cause of colon polyps and cancer, but research is ongoing. Regular screening  in people without cancer is the best prevention method available. Colon cancer can cause many symptoms including diarrheaconstipation, pencil-thin stools, anal bleeding , abdominal pain or cramping, and unintended weight loss.

A colonoscopy is the preferred screening method for colon cancer. Colonoscopies are recommended by the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Gastroenterologists, and the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTP) as routine testing for individuals over the age of 50 years for people with a normal risk for colon cancer.

Our Gastroenterology department have years of experience screening and diagnosing colon cancer. Quadrangle Endoscopy Center is a facility dedicated to gastrointestinal and pulmonary endoscopy procedures. No referral is necessary to schedule a colonoscopy, so visit our secure patient portal to schedule your screening today.

Visit our Gastroenterology department.

Visit our Quadrangle Endoscopy Center site.

Diagnosis

Colon cancer is often found after symptoms begin, but these symptoms usually only appear with advanced disease. Getting recommended screening tests allows clinicians to detect polyps and cancer in the early stages, before any symptoms begin. To diagnose colon polyps and cancer, healthcare providers utilize the patient’s medical history, physical exam, and blood tests. Sometimes further testing is warranted including colonoscopy and biopsy of tissue taken from the colon.

Treatment Options

After colon cancer is diagnosed and its stage is determined, a team of physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers will discuss treatment options with the patient. In general, the main types of treatment are:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapy

Colonoscopy Screenings

A colonoscopy is a test that allows your doctor to see the deepest lining of your colon to look for abnormal growths (sometimes called polyps) and to inspect the inner appearance of your large intestine or colon. A thin flexible tube is passed through your colon from your rectum to inspect both these areas for any signs of unusual appearance or to view unusual growths that may occur in these areas.

The procedure looks for polyps and signs of colorectal cancer. It is also a screening test used for individuals in certain age groups or with a strong family history of colon-rectal cancer to search for early signs of these disorders. Early detection is essential to protect you from the effects of this illness, and the colonoscopy is currently the best way to participate in a detection program that will positively impact your health.

Colonoscopy is recommended by the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Gastroenterologists, and the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTP) as routine testing for individuals over the age of 50 years for people with a normal risk for colon cancer. If you have a strong family history of colon cancer or previous gastroenterology conditions that lead to colon inflammation or irritation, colonoscopies may have to be performed at a younger age and more often because of this higher risk of cancer. Problems that show need for screening with colonoscopy include blood in the stool, rectal bleeding, chronic diarrhea, iron deficiency anemia and sudden unexplained weight loss.