Colon cancer is ranked second when it comes to cancer deaths in the United States. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you are over the age of 50 or have a family history of colon cancer, call or make an appointment online today to get screened by Dr. Sreelatha Reddy at Houston Gastrointestinal and Liver Clinic in Houston.
Colon cancer, also called colorectal cancer, occurs in the final part of your digestive tract, your large intestine. Most colon cancer begins with the development of small clumps of cells called polyps. Polyps develop when cell mutations cause unregulated cell growth.
Over time, these polyps can become cancerous in some people. It’s unknown why some people develop colon cancer while others don’t. However, several factors increase your risk of developing colon cancer, including:
Colon cancer often may not cause any symptoms or may cause symptoms shared by common health problems and is detected during routine screenings. Some colon cancer symptoms include:
Abdominal pain and weight loss typically occur as later symptoms and often indicate extensive disease.
Dr. Reddy recommends you get tested even if you show no signs or symptoms because finding colon cancer early on allows for the best chance of a cure. Moreover, screenings reduce your risk of dying from colon cancer.
While most people should begin screenings at age 50, patients with an increased risk should begin colon cancer screening as early as 45.
The most common way to screen for colon cancer is a colonoscopy, which is the examination of the inside of your colon using a scope. When you get the procedure done, Dr. Reddy uses a long, flexible, tube attached to a video camera. If she finds any suspicious areas, Dr. Reddy takes tissue samples for analysis.
Once Dr. Reddy diagnoses you with colon cancer, she orders tests to determine the extent or stage of your cancer. These tests include imaging procedures of your abdominal, pelvis, and chest.
Your treatment depends on what stage of cancer you have. The three most common treatment options are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
Whether you’re at increased risk for colon cancer or it’s time to get tested, call or make an appointment online today with Dr. Sreelatha Reddy at Houston Gastrointestinal & Liver Clinic in Houston.