What You Should Know About Colorectal Cancer Among Women


Comprising the longest section of the digestive tract, the colon draws water and nutrients from food that has passed through the small bowel. The last segment of the large bowel is referred to as the rectum. Occasionally, small growths (polyps) develop in the interior lining of the colon or rectum. These growths largely present few to zero symptoms, although some intestinal growths can change into the colon or rectal cancer. As they are extremely similar, colon and rectal cancer are generally classified together.

Colorectal cancer is the second-highest cause of cancer-related deaths in women, after breast cancer. Regular colorectal cancer screenings can identify signs of colorectal cancer in the early stages and substantially improve a person's health forecast. You can book a colonoscopy procedure and other forms of colon cancer screenings at GastroArkansas. Speak with our team to learn more about colorectal cancer and to partner with a Little Rock, AR gastroenterologist you can count on.

What are the common symptoms of colorectal cancer?

Colon and rectal cancer starts in the colon or rectum. Many people who have colon cancer will experience no symptoms in the cancer’s early stages. The people who do present symptoms could notice one or more of the following:

  • Ongoing abdominal cramps or discomfort

  • A difference in bowel movements

  • Unintentional loss of weight

  • Blood in stool or rectal bleeding

If you or a loved one is exhibiting any of these symptoms, reach out to GastroArkansas in Little Rock, AR as soon as possible to meet with a GI doctor.

In instances where a malignant growth extends into the outer wall of the large bowel, it can enter into the lymph system or blood vessels and be transmitted to other parts of the body. Patients whose colorectal cancer has metastasized in addition to the colon and rectum have substantially decreased survivability than individuals whose cancer is localized. As such, early identification and treatment are imperative.

What are colon and rectal cancer risk factors?

Even though any person can be affected by colon cancer, a few conditions can place certain patients at an elevated risk. A number of risk factors for colorectal cancer are listed below:

  • A genetic predisposition to colorectal cancer

  • Smoking

  • Being over the age of 50

  • Alcohol use

  • Being overweight

  • Having a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Individuals having these risk factors should undergo regular colon cancer screening tests, like a colonoscopy.

How is cancer of the colon identified?

A number of forms of colon and rectal cancer screening may be conducted for individuals at risk of getting the condition. These screening processes include fecal assessments, blood tests, and colonoscopy procedures. To perform a colonoscopy, a GI specialist inserts a flexible scope housing a mini camera through the colon and rectum to look for any indications of tissue irregularities, such as growths in the large intestine. In the event that colon polyps are discovered during the conduction of a colonoscopy, they can be removed at the time of the procedure and evaluated for signs of cancer cells. When colon cancer has been diagnosed, further testing can be carried out to identify if the cancer has metastasized and to determine the ideal way to address the condition.

In what way is colorectal cancer treated?

The treatment approach for colorectal cancer will be based on the location, stage, and size of the cancer and may include surgery to remove the malignant tissue, chemotherapy, or radiation treatment. Growths in the colon could take 10 –15 years to become cancerous. As such, if a growth is detected early on, it can generally be excised before it becomes malignant. For individuals who have localized colon cancer and obtain treatment, there is a five-year survival rate of about 90%. Receiving a periodic colonoscopy can be lifesaving; however, about 30% of American adults have not kept up with routine screenings for colon and rectal cancer.

Get a colonoscopy in Little Rock, AR

Colorectal cancer might be the second-leading reason for cancer deaths among women, but it is highly treatable in the early stages and easy to detect through a routine colonoscopy procedure. Individuals who are over the age of 50 or who have been diagnosed with additional medical issues that elevate their risk of colorectal cancer are encouraged to schedule a regular colonoscopy screening. GastroArkansas uses the most cutting-edge techniques and technology to boost GI health, and our team of experienced physicians works with a patient-centered focus. For additional details concerning colon and rectal cancer or further gastrointestinal health conditions, reach out to GastroArkansas in Little Rock, AR today.