By far, the most important issue when it comes to colon cancer is early detection. While some people experience rectal bleeding, constipation, and diarrhea with colon cancer, it may cause few, if any, symptoms in other people, especially in early stages. That’s why gastroenterologists recommend getting stool samples checked and colonoscopies routinely for early detection.
The prognosis of colon cancer varies from case to case. The stage of your cancer plays a major role here. Cancer, when it’s still localized, meaning it’s still within the colon, is generally more treatable and with less aggressive approaches. However, at this stage, it is also extremely difficult to detect on your own because it may not cause any symptoms.
The prognosis of your cancer also depends on the form of cancer you have, as well. For instance, some cancers are slowing growing and don’t spread rapidly. Others, on the other hand, are more aggressive and spread quickly.
Staging of Colon Cancer
For colon cancer, you will receive a stage between 0 to IV with your diagnosis. Generally, the higher the stage, the more serious the cancer will be. For instance, stage 0 cancer is still within the inner lining of your colon and can be treated much more easily than stage IV colon cancer.
Besides the actual stage, your doctor will also rate the severity of your initial tumor. If it spreads, your doctor will specifically look at the number of lymph nodes it spread to as well as how many organs it spread to.
How Cancer Staging Is Determined
The process of staging colon cancer is a bit extensive and requires your doctor to perform more than just one test.
Routine and Initial Colon Cancer Screenings
For a colorectal cancer screening, your gastroenterology physician will request a stool sample. The sample is analyzed for certain specimens that could indicate colon cancer.
Another test your doctor may perform to find colon cancer is a colonoscopy. This screening test consists of a practitioner inserting a long, flexible tube into your rectum while you rest unconscious. The tube has a tiny camera on the end of it, which captures footage of the inside of your colon. Your gastroenterologist will look for polyps and signs of inflammation. If you have polyps, your gastroenterologist will remove and send them for a biopsy to check for cancer.
Your doctor may recommend these tests routinely as part of a preventive plan, especially if you are at high risk of developing colon cancer. With these steps, if you develop colon cancer, it can be detected and treated early on – which could save your life.
Why Choose Our Carlisle, PA Gastroenterology Clinic for Colon Cancer Testing
Contact Carlisle Digestive Disease Associates, serving Carlisle and the surrounding Pennsylvania region, for routine colon cancer screenings and other preventive care measures. Our team of practitioners encourages all patients to begin receiving routine colon cancer screenings at a certain age based on their specific risk level.
Our practitioners will guide you through every step of testing with respect and compassion. If you have colon cancer, we will work with other specialists to get you the care you need.
Make an appointment today by calling 717-245-2228. You may also use our online request appointment form.