Colon Cancer in Kansas City, MO

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The colon is the final section of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, where the body withdraws water and salt from stool. Colorectal cancer develops when tumorous growths arise in the colon or rectum. The cancer begins as benign growths referred to as "polyps." Polyps are little clusters of cells that eventually can become colon or rectal tumors. Colon and rectal cancer is increasingly common in mature adults and is the second most common form of cancer in both males and females combined.

It is essential to have a colonoscopy screening early in life and then as advised by your GI physician. To request a consultation for a colorectal cancer screening in Kansas City, MO, please reach out to Digestive Health Specialists today.

 

Should you experience the early signs of colon cancer, quick intervention and proper care can help create a positive outcome for your health. Please consult one of our Kansas City, MO gastroenterologists promptly if you have one or more of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • A sense that your bowel does not evacuate fully
  • A sudden alteration in bowel movements, including constipation, diarrhea, or a change in the consistency of stool
  • Ongoing abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, bloating, or pain
  • Discomfort throughout bowel movements
  • A persistent urge to defecate
  • Any of the above coupled with weakness and fatigue

Factors that can increase the risk for colon or rectal cancer include:

  • Age: Colorectal cancer is mostly diagnosed in persons over the age of 50. However, the rates of colorectal cancer in younger individuals are increasing.
  • Family history: If you or a family member has had colorectal cancer or polyps, you have a higher risk of colon and rectal cancer.
  • Race: Individuals of African-American heritage have a greater risk of colon cancer than other races.
  • “Typical Western Diet”: Colorectal cancer has been connected with a low-fiber, high-fat, and high-calorie diet.
  • Inflammatory intestinal conditions: Chronic conditions, like ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, can increase your risk of colon and rectal cancer.

The rates of cancer survival are distributed into categories and based on the degree to which it has spread upon discovery. Limited colorectal cancer is cancer that is simply in the colon. Regional colon cancer is when the disease spreads to nearby cells and organs, and distant is when the cancer has spread to distant areas of the body.

  • Localized colon cancer: 90% 5-year survival rate
  • Regional colon cancer: 71% 5-year survival rate
  • Distant colon cancer: 14% 5-year survival rate

If the condition is identified quickly and strictly presents in a few malignant polyps, then the polyps can be excised, often resulting in remarkably high survival rates.

Our physicians recommend having a colonoscopy upon turning 45 years of age to identify cancer early. If colorectal cancer is present in your family, we advise receiving a colonoscopy at a Digestive Health Specialists location near you as soon as possible.

Treatment for colorectal cancer in Kansas City, MO individuals can vary based on the phase of the cancer. Every individual case is unique, but the best thing you can do when it comes to colorectal cancer is to prevent it entirely.

Avoidance

Colon cancer is a unique variety of cancer considering it is preventable. Colorectal cancer first manifests in the form of polyps. These growths can be extracted, which decreases the chance of passing away from cancer by 90%. Your personal risk of cancer and options to prevent it can be identified during a colon cancer screening with your GI physician.

Stage 0 Colon Cancer Treatment

Stage 0 colon cancer is when the disease has not advanced beyond the colon's inner lining. If the growth is small enough, it may be easily extracted with a colonoscope at the time of a colonoscopy.

Stage I Colon Cancer Treatment

If the growth is fully removed during colonoscopy and no cancer cells are present at the edges, additional therapy may not be necessary. If the eliminated growth does possess cancerous cells at the edges, further extraction may be required to remove the remaining cancerous tissue. For cancers not in polyp form, a partial colectomy may be necessary to remove the affected portion of the colon and any neighboring lymph nodes that contain cancer cells.

Stage II Colon Cancer Treatment

Normally, in stage 2, surgery is executed to remove the segment of the colon or adjacent lymph nodes containing cancer. At times, physicians will also advise adjuvant chemotherapy (chemo following surgery).

Stage III Colon Cancer Treatment

A partial colectomy and adjuvant chemotherapy is the conventional treatment protocol for this phase of colon cancer.

Stage IV Colon Cancer Treatment

Stave IV cancer normally means that the cancer has moved to additional tissues or portions of the body. Surgery might be required to remove areas of the cancer identified in the colon and other organs, in addition to chemotherapy. Chemotherapy at this phase is generally conducted prior to and after surgery.

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What causes colorectal cancer?

While the exact cause behind colorectal cancer is unknown, it develops when mutated cells in the lining of the large intestine or rectum multiply beyond control, generating a growth or tumor. However, there are specific things that may increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer. These circumstances can involve lifestyle habits, such as alcohol and tobacco use, lack of physical activity, and poor nutritional habits. A genetic or hereditary predisposition may also influence an individual's chances of developing colorectal cancer.

How is colon cancer diagnosed?

Colon cancer is generally diagnosed during a screening for colon cancer. A colonoscopy exam is the most commonly performed, precise, and thorough test for detecting colon and rectal cancer. Further testing, like virtual colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, double-contrast barium enema, and fecal tests, may also be used when screening for colorectal cancer. Your Digestive Health Specialists gastroenterologist will recommend the best approach to diagnosis and screening to meet your personalized needs.

How quickly does colorectal cancer develop?

Colon cancer tends to be slow-growing in most cases. It often arises as a noncancerous polyp or growth in the large intestine or rectal area that becomes malignant over time. Encountering symptoms when polyps are present is rare, which means that periodic colon cancer screenings are essential to identifying this type of cancer as early as possible.

Can colon cancer be prevented?

Cancer of the colon or rectum can commonly be prevented with periodic colon cancer screenings. Since most colon cancers develop as premalignant polyps (growths), scheduling screenings as advised by your healthcare provider can help minimize the risk of developing this disease. Our GI specialists in Kansas City, MO can provide further advice on how to reduce your risk of colon cancer during your consultative visit.

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, take comfort in knowing experienced care is close at hand. Digestive Health Specialists is a physician-led network of gastroenterologists, and each of our board-certified physicians aims to place the health and safety of our patients above all else. To learn more about colorectal cancer and how it may be diagnosed or prevented, or to find treatment for colon cancer in Kansas City, MO, please reach out to our team today.

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