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Dr Narinder K. Monga
Colon cancer (commonly referred to as colorectal cancer) is
preventable and highly curable if detected in early stages. The colon is the
first 4 to 5 feet of the large intestine. Colorectal cancer tumors grow in the colon's
Facts and Stats
• In 2017,
nearly $36,000 new cases of colorectal cancer were expected to be diagnosed in
• About 1
in 20 (5%) Americans will develop colorectal cancer du;ring their lifetime.
polyps (benign abnormal growths) affect about 20% to 30% of American adults.
The exact cause of colorectal cancer is unknown the
following factors can increase one's risk of colorectal cancer.
More than 90% of people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer after age 50.
history of colorectal cancer (especially parents or siblings).
history of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis for eight years or longer.
history of breast, uterine orovarian cancer.Prevention
Colorectal cancer is preventable. Nearly all cases of
colorectal cancer develop from polyps. They start in the inner lining of the
colon and most often affect the left side of the colon. Detection and removal
of polyps through colonoscopy reduces the risk of colorectal cancer. Colorectal
cancer screenirig recommendations are based on medical and family history.
Screening typically starts at age 50 in patients with average risk. Those at
higher risk are usually advised to receive their first screening at a younger
age.While it is not definitive, there is some evidence that diet may play a
significant role in preventing colorectal cancer. Adiet high in fiber (whole
grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts) and low in fat is the only dietary measure
that may help prevent colorectal cancer.
Colorectal Cancer Symptoms
Colorectal cancer often causes no symptoms and is detected
during routine screenings.
Screening and Surveillance for Colorectal Cancer Colorectal cancer symptoms include:
• A change in bowel habits (e.g. constipation or diarrhea).
red or very dark blood in the stool.
pelvic or lower abdominal pain (e.g., gas, bloating or pain).
• Nausea or
tired all the time.
Abdominal pain and weight loss are typically late symptoms,
indicating possible extensive disease. Anyone who experiences any of the above
symptoms should see a physician as soon as possible.
Colon or rectal cancer,(commonly referred to as colorectal
cancer), affects the colon
(large intestine) or rectum (bottom 6 inches of the colon).
Colo rectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer, excluding skin cancers.
Why should people be screened?
Colorectal cancer rarely causes symptoms in its early stages.
It usually starts out as a benign colorectal polyp. These polyps are commonly
found during standard screening exams of the colon and rectum. While the
majority of polyps will not become cancer, certain types hiay be precancerous.
Having polyps removed reduces a person's future risk of colorectal cancer.
Fecal occult blood testing and flexible sigmoidoscopy are
often used together to screen for colorectal cancer. However, colonoscopy is
considered the "gold standard screening test and is the preferred
method unless medical problems prevent it.
Fecal occult blood testing: A simple test that detects
invisible amounts of blood in multiple stool samples. If blood is found, it may be a
sign of a colorectal polyp or cancer. If the test is positive, a colonoscopy is
Colonoscopy: Examination of the entire colon with a long,
thin flexible tube with a camera and a light on the end
(colonoscope). This allows physicians to see not only the
entire colon but also to remove polyps at the same time.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy: Examination of the rectum and
lower colon with a flexible, lighted instrument. If an abnormality is found, a
colonoscopy is needed.
Air-contrast barium enema: During this X-ray test, the colon is filled with air and contrast
(dye) to make the lining visible. It is used primarily if a complete
colonoscopy cannot be done.
Virtual colonoscopy: This test uses computed tomography
(CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to create a 3-D picture of the inside
lining of the colon and rectum. If abnormalities are found,
a colonoscopy is needed. It is also useful when a
colonoscopy is incomplete.However, most insurance plans and Medicare may not
cover this procedure.
As part of a colorectal cancer screening program,
colonoscopy is routinely recommended for adults starting at age 50. Having a
colonoscopy every 10 years is standard practice. Flexible sigmoidoscopy every
five years with annual stool occult blood testing is an acceptable option when
colonoscopy cannot be done
with a close relative (parent or sibling) with colorectal cancer or polyps
should start screening at age 40 or 10 years before the youngest age at which a
relative was diagnosed. These screenings should be done every five years, even
if the test was normal.
common types of inherited colon cancer (e.g., hereditary non-polyposis colon
cancer and familial adenomatous polyposis) may require far more frequent
screening, starting at a much younger age.
About Southwest Colon & Rectal Clinic:
Dr. Monga and staff at Southwest Colon & Rectal Clinic have been providing personalized colon and rectal care to the community since 1980.
Dr. Monga is dedicated to providing the most compassionate care to his patients. He provides treatment and surgeries for all colon and rectal diseases including but not limited to:
All Anorectal Conditions
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Endoscopy of the Colon and Rectum
Intestinal and Anorectal Physiology for Evaluation and Management of: