• Colorectal Cancer

    Colorectal cancer can happen to anyone. It’s the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women. It’s also the second leading cause of cancer death.

    The good news is that it’s also one of the easiest cancers to detect. When caught early, it has a 5-year survival rate of 90 percent. That’s why we recommend routine screenings. But whether caught early on or in a more advanced stage, we’re here to help.

    The compassionate team at AAMC — which includes oncology surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, pharmacists and nurses — will work you to create a personalized treatment plan and get you on the road to recovery.

    About Colorectal Cancer

    Colorectal cancer usually starts as polyps (growths) located in the colon or rectum. Over time, some polyps can turn into cancer. This is why your risk of having colorectal cancer increases as you age. You may also be at higher risk if there is a family history of cancer.

    Here are some steps you can take to lower your risk. The American Cancer Society recommends you:

    • Avoid tobacco in all forms
    • Drink alcohol in moderation
    • Eat a low-fat diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
    • Limit the amount of red or processed meats you eat
    • Maintain a healthy weight with a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18 and 25
    • Stay physically active (aim for at least 30 minutes of activity per day)

    Signs and Symptoms

    Colorectal cancer may not have any symptoms in the early stages. If you do have colorectal cancer, you may have symptoms that include:

    • Blood in your stool
    • Constipation or diarrhea
    • Fatigue.
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Stomach pain or cramps

    Talk to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.

    Diagnosis

    If you are age 50 or older, you should have routine colonoscopy screenings. You may need to start screening sooner if you have a family history of colorectal cancer. The most common screening is colonoscopy.

    In addition to colonoscopy, we offer a variety of other diagnostic tools to help find colorectal cancer, including:

    • CT Colonography - Provides detailed, cross-sectional, 2-D or 3-D views of your colon and rectum with an x-ray machine that sends pictures to a computer for your doctor to view.
    • Double-contrast Barium Enema X-ray - Gives your doctor a closer look by x-ray as barium sulfate is introduced into your rectum and spreads throughout your colon.
    • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy - Allows your doctor to view the lower portion of your colon to check for polyps or abnormalities using a slender tube inserted through your rectum and into your colon.
    • Stool test - Helps detect blood in your stool caused by tumors or polyps.

    Treatment

    If you’re diagnosed with colorectal cancer, our highly skilled team of colorectal specialists will find the best treatment approach to meet your needs. Your specific treatment will depend on where the cancer is located and how early it’s found.

    Medical treatment may include:

    • Chemotherapy and radiation, alone or in combination.
    • Laparoscopic or robotic surgery, to remove polyps and tumors.
    • Removal of part of your colon or rectum. Our surgeons provide expert precision, with the goal of preserving your normal bowel function so you can continue to be active.

    Make an Appointment

    If you are over 50, have a family history or symptoms of colorectal cancer, call for a colonoscopy screening, 443-481-5800.