Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in the U.S. Early stage colon or rectal cancer doesn’t usually have symptoms. Which is one of the many reasons a colonoscopy cancer screening can fall by the wayside. It’s easy to remember to visit the doctor when something is causing you pain or affecting your quality of life. With so much going on, it can be much more difficult to take a proactive approach to managing your health. Especially, when it includes a screening procedure that many think of as less than appealing. But, at Menorah Medical Center we’ve got your backside. We offer a free online risk assessment to help you quickly determine your personal risk for developing colon cancer as well as many screening options to fit your personal needs.
What is Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon (large intestines) or rectum (connects the colon to the anus). Ninety to 95 percent of all colorectal cancers are adenocarcinomas or a cancer that begins in cells that produce mucus or other fluids. These tumors generally start as adenomas, otherwise known as polyps. These are small benign (non-cancerous) growths.
Colorectal Cancer Symptoms
There usually are not any symptoms associated with the early stages of colon cancer. That’s why it’s even more important to be mindful of symptoms of colorectal cancer and to speak with your doctor if you have concerns. Common symptoms include:
- Weight loss without diet or exercise changes
- Chronic fatigue
- A change in bathroom habits
- Stool that may be narrower than normal
- Blood in the stool. It can appear bright red, black or tar-like
- A feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
- Abdominal discomfort such as gas pain, bloating, fullness, cramping
Colorectal Cancer Screening
Routine colorectal cancer screening is one of the most powerful tools in preventing colon cancer. Over the past 20 years, deaths from colon cancer have been dropping. One reason for this is that polyps are being found by colonoscopy screening and removed before they can develop into cancers. Screening also allows cancers to be found earlier, when the disease is most treatable. But unfortunately, there are still many people who are over 50 years old or high-risk that have not be screened or are not up-to-date on their colon cancer screening.
Colonoscopies are the gold standard for colon cancer screening. But we know that they still don’t have the best reputation. However, the thought and anticipation of a colonoscopy procedure is usually much worse than the reality.
Colon Cancer Treatment
Having your backside doesn’t stop at colon cancer screening. The Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute Menorah Medical Center offers comprehensive colorectal cancer care. A dedicated multidisciplinary team of physicians work together to ensure every patient has a care plan built specifically for them with the quickest time to treatment possible.
Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery
Menorah Medical Center is home to the da Vinci® for not only colorectal, but ear, nose and throat, head and neck, gynecology, urology and general surgeries. In addition, Menorah is the first in the region with the da Vinci® Xi Surgical Robot, used for colorectal, gynecology and urology procedures.
The da Vinci® provides surgeons with greater precision, control and access to hard-to-reach areas like the colon, allowing extremely complex operations to be performed through just a few small incisions. Many colorectal surgeons use robotics for colon cancer procedures at Menorah Medical Center.
Smaller Incision. Greater Precision.
Robotics allows for advanced level technology and takes surgery beyond the limits of the human hand. It allows patients to have the best possible outcomes and provides access to the latest medical advancements.
- An alternative to open surgery
- Significantly less pain; fewer side effects
- Shorter hospital stays
- Reduced risk of infection
- Smaller incisions; less scarring and less blood loss
- Quicker return to normal activities
- In many cases, better outcomes
- Enhanced 3D, high-definition vision of operative field with up to 10x magnification
- New optional dual console allows second surgeon to provide assistance
- Superior visual clarity of tissue and anatomy
- Surgical dexterity and precision far greater than even the human hand