Colon Cancer in Little Rock, AR
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What is colon cancer?
The colon is the last section of the gastrointestinal system where your body removes fluid and salt from stool. Cancer of the colon occurs when tumorous masses arise in the colon or rectum. These tumors begin as noncancerous growths known as colorectal polyps. Polyps are small clusters of cells that eventually can develop into colon tumors. Colorectal cancer is more common in older adults and is the second most common cancer discovered in both males and females combined.
It is critical to begin having colonoscopy screenings at age 45 and then as suggested by your gastroenterologist. To schedule a colorectal cancer screening in Little Rock, AR, please contact a GastroArkansas location near you.
What are the signs and risk factors of colorectal cancer?
Should you experience the initial signs of colon and rectal cancer, prompt intervention and the right type of care could help foster a positive outcome for your health. If you experience any of the following symptoms consistently, promptly schedule a visit with one of our Little Rock, AR gastroenterologists:
- A sense that your bowel does not empty fully
- Constant urges to have a bowel movement
- An abrupt alteration in bowel movements, including obstruction, diarrhea, or a change in the texture of your feces
- Pain during bowel movements
- Bloody stool
- Continual intestinal discomfort, like cramps, gas, or pain
- Any of this list accompanied by weakness and fatigue
Some of the factors that may place a patient at greater risk for colorectal cancer are:
- Age: Colon cancer is often diagnosed in patients who are over 50; although, the rates of colon and rectal cancer in young individuals have been growing.
- Race: People of African-American descent have a higher risk of colon and rectal cancer compared to other races.
- Family history: If you or a relative has had colorectal cancer or colon growths, you have a greater chance of developing colon and rectal cancer.
- Inflammatory intestinal diseases: Persistent diseases, such as Crohn's disease and colitis, can raise your risk of colon and rectal cancer.
- “Typical Western Diet”: Colorectal cancer has been linked with a reduced fiber, enhanced fat, and high-calorie diet.
Survival rates for colon cancer
Colon cancer survival rates are broken into stages and are assigned based on the extent the disease has spread upon diagnosis. Limited colon cancer is cancer that is strictly in the colon. Regional colon cancer is when the disease moves to adjacent cells and organs. Distant colon cancer is when the cancer has spread to remote parts 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 disease is found ahead of time and simply appears in a few malignant growths, then the polyps can be excised, leading to high rates of survival.
We recommend obtaining a colonoscopy when you turn 45 years of age to detect cancer quickly. If colon cancer is present in your family, then we advise getting a screening for colorectal cancer at GastroArkansas promptly.
What are the possible treatments for colon cancer?
Treatment approaches for colon cancer in Little Rock, AR individuals can vary based on the stage of the cancer. Every circumstance is different, but the foremost thing you can do for colon cancer is to prevent it.
Colon cancer is a unique type of cancer, considering it is preventable. Colorectal cancer first appears in the form of polyps. These tumors can be extracted, which lowers your risk of passing away from cancer by 90%. Your particular risk and prevention steps can be identified during a colorectal cancer screening with your gastroenterologist.
Stage 0 Colon Cancer Treatment
Stage 0 colorectal cancer is when the cancer has not advanced further than the inner lining of the colon. If the tumor is small enough, it can be freely eliminated with a colonoscope while undergoing a colonoscopy.
Stage I Colon Cancer Treatment
No additional therapy may be needed if the growth is thoroughly withdrawn while undergoing a colonoscopy with no cancerous tissues at the extremities. If the removed growth does possess cancerous cells at the edges, further surgery could be necessary to remove the remaining malignant tissue. For cancers not in a polyp, a partial colectomy might be necessary to remove the affected portion of the colon and neighboring cancerous lymph nodes.
Stage II Colon Cancer Treatment
Usually, in stage 2, surgery is executed to extract the portion of the colon or neighboring lymph nodes that are cancerous. At times, physicians will also suggest adjuvant chemotherapy (chemo following surgery).
Stage III Colon Cancer Treatment
Having a partial colectomy, followed by adjuvant chemotherapy, is the conventional treatment approach for this phase of colorectal cancer.
Stage IV Colon Cancer Treatment
This stage of cancer usually means that the cancer has moved to other tissues or body parts. Surgery might be necessary to eliminate areas of the cancer established in the colon and additional organs, in addition to chemotherapy. Chemotherapy at this phase is typically provided before and following surgery.
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Colon Cancer FAQs
What is the cause of colorectal cancer?
While the exact cause of colorectal cancer is unclear, it arises when mutated cells in the inner wall of the rectum or large intestine propagate beyond control, creating a tumor or growth. Certain factors could amplify the risk of colorectal cancer. These can include lifestyle habits (such as tobacco and alcohol use, lack of exercise, and poor eating habits) and having a genetic or familial history of the condition.
How is colorectal cancer diagnosed?
Colorectal cancer is commonly diagnosed through a colon cancer test. A colonoscopy is the most commonly performed, effective, and comprehensive examination for catching colon and rectal cancer. Other exams, like virtual colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, double-contrast barium enema, and fecal tests, might also be conducted to help screen for colon cancer. Our GastroArkansas GI team can advise you on the ideal option of diagnosis and screening for your unique needs.
How fast does colon cancer grow?
Colon cancer is slow-growing in most instances. The condition commonly develops as a noncancerous growth or polyp in the large intestine or rectum that turns cancerous over time. Noticing symptoms when polyps are present is uncommon, making routine colon cancer screenings imperative to detect this type of cancer as quickly as possible.
Can colon and rectal cancer be prevented?
Often, colon and rectal cancer can be prevented with periodic colorectal cancer tests. Since most colorectal cancers start as premalignant polyps, scheduling screenings as advised by your physician can help diminish the risk of experiencing this condition. During your consultation, our Little Rock, AR gastroenterologists can provide further advice on how you might decrease your colorectal cancer risk.
Experienced care for colon cancer patients
If you or a family member suspects or has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, know that experienced care is close at hand. GastroArkansas is a physician-led network of gastroenterologists, and each of our board-certified physicians makes it their goal to place the health and safety of our patients above everything else. To learn additional information about colon cancer and how it may be detected and avoided, or to find treatment for colorectal cancer in Little Rock, AR, get in touch with our team today.
Had all my questions answered and was able to understand it really a great doctor explained everything you you can understand it.
Dr. Backstedt has been taking excellent care of me since since he confirmed my colon cancer in 2017. He is an excellent doctor who is also kind, caring and wonderfully down to earth. I wouldn't consider anyone else. Susan Maddox
Dr Johnson actually listened to me. Means a lot in this day and age of “hurriedness” and “rush”. I believe that he will fix the problem I saw another doctor for earlier this year who told me only to “eat smaller bites and make sure to chew your food better”. When I’ve had the same problem before and told them what I needed and they didn’t listen to me. Thank you Dr Johnson!
Dr.Robertson he explains what’s going on . He gives you options. He waiting on me on a Friday, he was so concerned he made room for me on a Thursday for a procedure. So far he’s been amazing
Doc was very knowledgeable personable and really made us feel comfortable!!!!