Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer describes a number of cancers that can affect different parts of the lower intestine. The colon, also known as the large intestine, is the last part of the digestive tract before waste leaves the body. The rectum is the final few inches of the colon, and acts as a storage unit for feces before it is expelled. Cancer can affect either the colon or the rectum. When it affects both simultaneously, it is called colorectal cancer. At the Colorectal Center Los Angeles, our top priority is ensuring that patients of colorectal cancer get the treatment they need.

Colorectal cancer overview

Colorectal cancer can also be called colon cancer, rectal cancer, bowel cancer or colorectal adenocarcinoma. It is a condition in which uncontrolled cell growth occurs in the large intestine. Research has indicated that both colon and rectal cancer are the same type of cancer.

Colorectal cancer is generally caused by lifestyle, health habits and increasing age. In rare cases, it may be caused by genetics.

Colorectal cancer begins in the lining of the bowel. From there, if left untreated, it can spread to the muscular layers underneath. Eventually, it can spread through the bowel wall and into adjacent organs. Colorectal cancer screening is a proven method of preventing colorectal cancer from spreading too far before treatment begins. It is generally recommended that patients receive routine screening starting at age 50. Screening is typically done with a colonoscopy or a sigmoidoscopy.

Symptoms of colorectal cancer

When it comes to colorectal cancer, or any type of cancer, a professional diagnosis is vital. While patients may be able to detect symptoms of colorectal cancer, this should prompt a visit to the Colorectal Center Los Angeles. Once you come in, our comprehensive diagnostic services and colorectal specialists can give you the full picture. When your exact condition is determined, treatment can begin.

We’ve included symptoms of colorectal cancer so patients can look for warning signs. If you experience any of the symptoms below, please give us a call and set an appointment.

Colorectal cancer symptoms include:

  • A shift in bowel movements, including constipation or diarrhea, which lasts more than several days
  • Unsatisfying bowel movements
  • Bloody or dark stools
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Stomach cramps
  • Stomach pain
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Unexplained weight loss

Diagnosis of colorectal cancer

In order to ensure a totally accurate diagnosis of colorectal cancer, the specialists at the Colorectal Center Los Angeles may use any number of testing procedures. By gathering as much information as possible, they can then determine the most effective treatment to attack the cancer.

Testing and diagnosis may include:

  • Medical and family history
  • Physical examination
  • Blood tests
  • A colonoscopy to look for polyps in the colon
  • A biopsy of suspicious tissue
  • Imaging tests, such as:
    • Computed tomography (CT) scan
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
    • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
    • Ultrasound

Colorectal cancer treatment

Once the degree and nature of the cancer has been determined, your doctor may proceed with treatment. At the Colorectal Center Los Angeles, we focus on rapid treatment following diagnosis, because we know that the faster we move, the better your chances of recovery. When it comes to colorectal cancer, there are many different treatment options. Our board certified colorectal surgeons will examine your case thoroughly, and even work with other specialists if necessary, in order to determine the best possible treatment regimen to attack the cancer directly.

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