As the second most common cancer in America, colorectal cancer affects 140,000 individuals, and is responsible for more than 60,000 deaths each year. Most physicians agree that the majority of colon and rectal cancers originate in benign polyps situated on the bowel wall that eventually increase in size and become cancerous. Risk factors for colorectal cancer include:
- Age—more than 90% of patients with colorectal cancer are over age 40
- Personal history of ulcerative colitis, cancer of other organs, or colon polyps
- Family history of colorectal cancer and polyps
Rectal bleeding, changes in bowel habits, weight loss and abdominal pain are all symptoms of colorectal cancer; however, these symptoms are common in other diseases as well, which is why it is vital to ensure that your routine physical includes colorectal cancer detection screenings, such as: digital rectal examination, colonoscopy, chemical test for blood in the stool, and barium enema. These screening tests should be performed annually once a patient reaches the age of 50 (age 40 for patients with a family or personal history of colon cancer or polyps).
Nearly all cases of colorectal cancer require surgery (often in conjunction with radiation and chemotherapy) for treatment. When detected in the earliest stages, colon cancer has an 80-90% cure rate; however, this drops to less than 50% when diagnoses in the later stages. The importance of regular screening and colonoscopy exams cannot be emphasized enough, as these measures are highly effective tools in preventing colorectal cancer, or catching it in the earliest stages.
For more information, please use the following link: Colorectal Cancer
At Pinnacle Colon and Rectal Surgeons, Dr. Ann L. Kalhorn and Dr. Eugene M. Kim are well respected and board certified colon and rectal surgeons. They have received specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions pertaining to the colon, rectum and anus. We work collaboratively with you to ease painful symptoms and ensure the safe and successful resolution of your colorectal issues. If you would like additional information about treatment, please contact our office today. We look forward to speaking with you and to scheduling your consultation with Dr. Kalhorn or Dr. Kim.