Among the most common types of cancer, colon cancer kills thousands of people every year. The highly experienced team at Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford can test for early signs of colon cancer and provide effective treatment for the disease. New England’s largest specialist colorectal practice has convenient office locations in Bloomfield, South Windsor, and Plainville, Connecticut. Call the office nearest you today to arrange your colon cancer screening or book an appointment online.
Colon cancer is a serious disease affecting the colon.
Your colon is the main section of the large intestine that joins your small intestine to your rectum. The “good” bacteria in the colon break down digested food passing down from the small intestine.
Your colon extracts nutrients from the bacterial activity, as well as most of the water. The waste material that’s left forms stools that pass down into your rectum, triggering the need for a bowel movement.
The tissues lining your colon can develop small growths called polyps. This is quite common, and polyps are mostly harmless. However, there is a risk that some of the polyps could become cancerous.
It’s not known what makes some polyps cancerous when most aren't. However, there are risk factors that increase your likelihood of getting colon cancer.
Having a family history of colon polyps, colon cancer, or other cancers like pancreatic, breast, ovarian, and uterine are significant risk factors. If you have inherited conditions like juvenile polyposis, or inflammatory bowel conditions like ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, your risk of developing colon cancer also increases.
Environmental risk factors for colon cancer include exposure to:
Diet is likely to be significant as well, although how isn’t completely clear yet. People who eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables are proven to have a lower risk of getting colon cancer.
The treatment you need depends on what stage of colon cancer you have. Options available at Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford include:
The team uses advanced, minimally invasive surgery wherever possible. Removing cancer surgically before it spreads elsewhere can be an effective treatment. However, if the cancer spreads to other areas like the lymph nodes and other organs, it becomes far harder to treat.
Five-year survival rates for cancer that’s spread beyond the colon are around 11%. However, your condition needn’t ever reach this stage. If your colon cancer is detected in the early stages, it’s likely to be far easier to treat successfully. Five-year survival rates then rise to 90%.
By far, the best way of avoiding the problem is to have colon cancer screening at Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford. This involves using a tiny camera on a long, flexible tube to see inside your colon. If there are any polyps present, your provider can remove them before they get a chance to turn cancerous.
If you have any symptoms of colon cancer or wish to arrange a colon cancer screening, call Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford today or book an appointment online.