Can Colon and Rectal Cancer Place a Woman's Health at Risk?

It is important to note that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women, behind breast cancer. Making up the longest part of the large bowel, the colon takes in vitamins, minerals, and water from the remnants of food that have moved through the small intestine. The last segment of the large intestine is referred to as the rectum. Occasionally, polyps, small growths of cells, develop within the interior lining of the colon or rectum. The growths typically exhibit few to no symptoms; however, some intestinal polyps can change into colorectal cancer. As they are highly similar, colon and rectal cancer are often classified together.

Routine colon and rectal cancer screenings can discover colon and rectal cancer in the early stages and greatly elevate a person's treatment results. You can set up a colonoscopy and other related colon cancer screenings at Digestive Health Associates of Texas. To find a knowledgeable digestive health doctor in Dallas, TX you can trust, consult our team to learn more about colon and rectal cancer and other digestive diseases.

What should I know about colon and rectal cancer?

Colon cancer starts in the colon or rectum. The vast majority of individuals who have colon cancer will exhibit no symptoms in the initial stages. The people who do show signs or symptoms might have one or more of the following:

  • Blood in stool or rectal bleeding

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • A difference in bowel habits

  • Persistent abdominal cramps or pain

If you or someone you love is experiencing any of these indications, contact Digestive Health Associates of Texas in Dallas, TX today to speak with a gastrointestinal specialist.

If a cancerous growth advances into the outside wall of the large bowel, it can get into the circulatory or lymph system and be transmitted to additional areas of the body. Those whose colon cancer has affected areas outside of the large bowel have significantly smaller chances of survival than those whose cancer stays localized. For this reason, early diagnosis and treatment are key.

What are common risk factors for colon cancer?

Although any person can get colon cancer, there are some factors that might put some people at an elevated risk. Common risk factors for colorectal cancer include:

  • A genetic predisposition to colorectal cancer

  • Obesity

  • Having experienced inflammatory bowel disease

  • Use of tobacco products

  • Use of alcohol

  • Being over the age of 50

Patients exhibiting any of the above factors should get routine colon and rectal cancer screenings, like a colonoscopy.

How is colon or rectal cancer diagnosed?

Various forms of colon and rectal cancer screening may be recommended for patients at risk for colorectal cancer. These screening processes include stool evaluations, blood work, and colonoscopy. To perform a colonoscopy, a GI specialist places a thin scope housing a small camera through the large intestine to look for any signs of concerns, such as colon polyps. In cases where polyps are found during the conduction of a colonoscopy, they can often be removed at the time of the procedure and then biopsied for indications of cancer. Once colon or rectal cancer has been identified, more involved assessments can be conducted to ascertain if the cancer has metastasized and what treatments might offer the best way of addressing it.

How is colon cancer treated?

The approach to treating a person's colorectal cancer will be based on the location, size, and stage of the cancer and may include cancer removal surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Growths in the colon could take around 10 –15 years to turn into cancer, which means that when a growth is detected in the early stages, it can frequently be removed before it turns cancerous. For individuals who have localized colorectal cancer and receive treatment, there is a five-year survival rate of around 90%. Undergoing a periodic colonoscopy can save a patient's life; however, about one-third of American adults are not up to date on their colon cancer screenings.

Protect your health with a colorectal cancer screening in Dallas, TX

Colorectal cancer is among the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in women. However, it is treatable when diagnosed in the early stages and simple to identify with a periodic colonoscopy. Those older than 50 or who are experiencing other medical issues that heighten their probability of colorectal cancer should book a routine colonoscopy procedure. Digestive Health Associates of Texas implements the most advanced technology and processes to care for gastrointestinal health, and our team of experts serves under a patient-centered philosophy. To find out more surrounding colon cancer or other GI health disease, reach out to Digestive Health Associates of Texas in Dallas, TX.