What is Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer usually develops from small, benign tumors called adenomatous polyps. These polyps form on the inner walls of the colon. When the cells grow uncontrollably in the colon it becomes cancerous. Blair Gastroenterology Associates specializes in the education, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Colon cancer. If you have been diagnosed with colon cancer, feel you are at risk for developing colon cancer, or have been advised to get screened for colon cancer, our team of highly trained and experienced gastroenterologists can help. Give our office a call at your earliest convenience to set up an appointment or to talk to one of our staff.

The Prevalence of Colon Cancer and What Symptoms to Look For

Colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and Pennsylvanians have the 13th highest death rate for colon cancer in the country. We usually do not know the exact reason why one individual gets colon cancer and another does not, however we do know that there are certain risk factors associated with the development of this deadly disease. We also know that colon cancer is highly preventable when we follow the guidelines for the prevention of this disease. Symptoms of colon cancer may include changes in stool consistency, continual urge to defecate, diarrhea or constipation, iron deficiency (anemia), pain, cramps or gas in the abdomen, pain during bowel movements, rectal bleeding or blood in the stool, unexplained weight loss, and weakness or fatigue.

How Colon Cancer is Diagnosed

Colon cancer is diagnosed by a physician performing a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a procedure where the physician will insert a flexible, lighted tube into your rectum and slowly guide it into your colon. The tube is called a colonoscope (or scope.) The scope transmits an image of the inside of the colon onto a video screen so that the physician can carefully examine the lining of the colon. This allows the gastroenterologist to look inside the entire large intestine to detect inflamed tissue, abnormal growth and ulcers. It also permits the physician to biopsy tissue and remove polyps.

Cologuard is an Effective Diagnostic Tool Used to Diagnose Colon Cancer

Cologuard is a diagnostic tool used to diagnose colon cancer. Cologuard is a non-invasive colon cancer screening test based on the latest advances in stool DNA. Cologuard utilizes advanced stool DNA technology to detect the DNA and red blood cells released from precancerous polyps or colorectal cancer. The stool sample can be collected at home and specimen sent directly to a specialized laboratory. A positive result will require further evaluation with a colonoscopy.

Contact Blair Gastroenterology for Colon Cancer Treatment Options

The treatment for colon cancer can vary, depending on the stage of the cancer and personal characteristics. The three treatment courses typically used are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. If you are experiencing any of the listed symptoms call Blair Gastroenterology Associates today at 814-946-5469 to schedule an appointment for a complete evaluation with one of our qualified physicians.