Essencia Family Practice and Immediate Care Clinic
Olusesan Olotu, MD
Family Medicine located in Carrollton, TX
About 50,000 people die from colon cancer every year. At Essencia Family Practice and Immediate Care Clinic in Carrollton, Texas, doctors screen for this disease and provide early diagnoses when cancer is easier to treat. In its earliest stages, colon cancer often doesn’t reveal symptoms, so regular screenings for most people— beginning around the age of 50 — are critical. To learn more about screenings and treatment options for early-stage colon cancer, call or schedule an appointment online today.
Colon Cancer Q & A
What is colon cancer?
Colon cancer is cancer that affects your colon, or large intestine, which is the final part of your digestive tract. In most cases, colon cancer starts out as small, benign lumps. Gradually, several of these growths can develop into colon cancers.
These growths, called polyps, are often small and cause few, if any, symptoms, particularly during the early stages of colon cancer. That’s precisely why doctors at Essencia Family Practice and Immediate Care Clinic always recommend regular colon cancer screening tests.
During these screenings, they can surgically remove polyps before they become cancerous. A timely screening can save your life.
What are signs and symptoms of colon cancer?
Some common signs and symptoms of colon cancer include:
- Changes to your stool that last over four weeks
- Bloody stool
- Rectal bleeding
- Ongoing gas or abdominal pain
- Sudden weight loss
- Fatigue or weakness
In its earliest stages, colon cancer often doesn’t reveal any symptoms. When symptoms do begin to appear, they’ll manifest differently depending on the severity of the cancer and its location in your colon.
How does screening for colon cancer work?
Detecting colon cancer at its earliest stage provides the greatest chance for a full recovery. Screening vastly reduces your risk of severe health consequences — including death — from colon cancer.
Your doctor is likely to recommend starting colon cancer screenings around age 50. However, if you’re someone with an increased risk due to your family history with the disease, they may recommend beginning at age 45.
Several screening options exist. Speak to your doctor about your options so you can decide which tests are right for you.
A colonoscopy, a procedure that uses a long, flexible tube affixed with a camera and a light to precisely examine the colon and guide surgical instruments, is used for screening. It can also be used to remove polyps before they turn into cancer.
How do you treat colon cancer?
If your doctor at Essencia diagnoses you with colon cancer, they work closely with you to develop a treatment plan. Your treatment depends on factors like your overall health and the stage of your cancer.
For early-stage colon cancer, your doctor will likely opt for minimally invasive surgery to remove polyps that have turned into cancer.
Other minimally invasive surgeries that involve removing parts of the colon can treat more invasive forms of colon cancer. When dealing with advanced colon cancer, surgery can relieve blockages of the colon to treat symptoms. Chemotherapy and targeted radiation are other options.
If it’s time for you to get screened for colon cancer, call or schedule an appointment online today.