Colorectal Cancer Screening in Rochester, NY
What is Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer is cancer that forms in the tissues of the first part of the large intestine. Your large intestine is connected to the small intestine at one end and the anus at the other. The colon removes water and some nutrients and electrolytes from partially digested food. The last six to eight inches of the large intestine is the rectum. Sometimes the cancer develops in this area and can be rectal cancer. Other times, theses cancers are referred to together as colorectal cancer.
At Rochester Colon & Rectal Surgeons, P.C. our board-certified surgeons are committed to providing both comprehensive and compassionate care to patients experiencing symptoms of colorectal cancer in Rochester, NY. Our colorectal surgeons work as a team to provide you with the best treatment plan for you. If you are currently suffering from colorectal cancer, contact our colorectal clinic at (585) 222-6566 and schedule an appointment today!
Colorectal Cancer (CRC) is the third most common type of cancer accounting for 11% of cancers diagnosed in women and men in the US.
Approximately 140,000 new cases of CRC are diagnosed each year, 100,000 in the colon, the remainder in the rectum. Colorectal Cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer mortality, causing 60,000 deaths annually. This is a high figure, emphasizing the need for proper screening. After all, CRC is preventable, treatable and beatable if diagnosed at an early stage.
You can take action and reduce your own risks.
More than 90% of CRC cases are diagnosed in people age 50 or older.
It is estimated that as many as 60% of colorectal deaths could be prevented if all men and women aged 50 years or older were screened routinely. CRC develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. If you’re experiencing symptoms of colorectal cancer in the Rochester area, contact Rochester Colon & Rectal Surgeons to schedule a consultation with our colorectal surgeons. Please call (585) 222-6566 to schedule a consultation at one of our six colorectal surgery center in Rochester, NY.
Am I at Risk for Colon Cancer?
You may be at risk for colon cancer if you have:
- A family history of the disease
- Older age
- Inflammatory intestinal conditions
- Lack of regular physical activity
- A diet low in fruit and vegetables
- A low-fiber and high-fat diet
- A diet high in processed meats
- Overweight and obesity
- African-American race
What are the Warning Signs of Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer usually begins as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells that form on the inside of the colon. These are called polyps. Over time some of these polyps can become colon cancers. It is important to have a regular colonoscopy to look for the warning signs of colon cancer and find polyps before cancer develops.
Polyps may be small and produce few, if any, symptoms. For this reason, Rochester Colon & Rectal Surgeons recommend regular screening tests to help prevent colon cancer by identifying and removing polyps before they turn into cancer.
Screening tests can find precancerous polyps so that they can be removed before they develop into cancer.
Screening tests can find colorectal cancer at an early stage when treatment works best. Some studies demonstrated that maintaining a healthy diet that is low in animal fat and high in fiber may decrease the risk for CRC. Furthermore, research has shown that certain supplements, Selenium or Vitamin D, and certain medications, Aspirin, may have a role in preventing colorectal cancer. While all the measures may reduce the risk, the most effective way to reduce your own risk is by having regular colorectal cancer screening beginning at age 45. If everyone followed colorectal cancer screening guidelines, at least 60 percent of U.S. colorectal cancer deaths could be avoided, according to the American Association for Cancer Research.
Schedule a Consultation for Colorectal Cancer Treatment in Rochester, NY!
If you are experiencing signs of colorectal cancer or are seeking a diagnosis, contact Rochester Colon & Rectal Surgeons to discuss testing and treatment with a colorectal specialist. Please call (585) 222-6566 to schedule a consultation at our colorectal surgery center in Rochester, NY today.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are 45 years old or older, the answer is yes. Then continue cancer screening at regular intervals and at your colorectal surgeon’s recommendations. There are people who have a higher cancer risk than the average population. You may be one of them if you or a close relative had colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer, breast or uterine cancer. Other high risk patients are people who have an inflammatory bowel condition, like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. CRC can be caused by a genetic defect that leads to a familial predisposition to get colon cancer. Patients with a genetic defect that is linked to colorectal cancer should be screened earlier, oftentimes beginning when they are in their late teens. Common symptoms associated with CRC are rectal bleeding and changes of bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation. Weight loss or pain are usually late symptoms.
Available exams include digital rectal examination, stool occult blood testing, colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy. A colonoscopy should be carried out every 10 years. Occult blood stool testing should be carried out every year. Flexible sigmoidoscopy should be performed every 5 years. In addition “virtual colonoscopy” and Barium enemas can be used for screening purposes. Both are x-ray tests. However, a non x- ray colonoscopy exam with the ability to take biopsies and remove pre-cancerous polyps before they can turn into cancer has remained the gold standard screening tool.
If colorectal cancer is not confined to be a polyp, proper cancer treatment involves surgery to eliminate cancer and to achieve a cure. At times chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be required. If a cancer is diagnosed at an early stage the cure rate can be as high as 90%. However, if a cancer is diagnosed at an advanced stage the cure rate drops to 50% or even less. With minimally invasive surgery, including laparoscopy and robotic surgery, the recovery time after cancer surgery has become shorter than with open surgery. Thanks to laparoscopy and robotics many surgical procedures have become more precise given the improved visualization and the possibility to work in narrow spaces, like the lower pelvis. Also, scars have become smaller and healing is faster and less painful. Using modern surgical techniques and instruments less than 5% of all CRC patients require a permanent colostomy, which is a surgically created opening that allows the excretion of stool into a bag like an appliance. Colorectal cancer is preventable cancer. The first and most important step towards preventing CRC is getting screened. Finally, any new changes of bowel habits, bleeding or pain should be discussed with a colorectal surgeon.