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Colon Cancer FAQ

Why should I get a colonoscopy?

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Studies show that as many as 60 percent of these deaths could be prevented with routine colonoscopies beginning at age 50. In most cases, the disease develops from abnormal precancerous growths called polyps in the colon or rectum, which can be easily detected during a colonoscopy and removed.

Learn more about screening for colorectal cancer ›

If I have a polyp, does that mean I'm going to get colorectal cancer?

Polyps are growths on the inner wall of the colon and rectum. Some types of polyps may increase a person’s risk of developing colorectal cancer, but not all polyps become cancerous.

Learn more about polyps and colorectal disease ›

Does diet play a role in colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer occurs more frequently among people with high-calorie, high-fat diets that are low in important nutrients such as calcium, folic acid and fiber. It develops less often in people who eat a low-fat diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and unprocessed foods.

Are there signs or symptoms for colon cancer?

The symptoms of colon cancer are often subtle. Check with a doctor if you notice the following signs:

  • Pain and tenderness in the lower abdomen
  • Blood in your stool
  • Diarrhea, constipation or other changes in bowel habits
  • Pain that may indicate intestinal obstruction
  • Narrow stool
  • Unexplained anemia
  • Weight loss with no known cause

What are my chances of avoiding a colostomy bag if I have surgery for rectal cancer?

Ninety percent of our rectal cancer patients do not end up with a permanent colostomy after surgery. About 70 percent of patients need a temporary diversion of the body’s stool from the reconstructed area so that it can heal properly.

Temporary bowel diversions are typically reversed about six weeks after surgery.

For more information or to make an appointment, please call us at 888-717-4463.

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