Colon cancer and rectal cancers are cancers of the digestive system. The two cancers are often referred to as colorectal cancer. In most cases, colorectal cancers develop slowly over many years and are treatable if diagnosed early. Therefore, regular screening for colon cancer is critical.
The American Cancer Society recommends that people at average risk for colon cancer have a screening test (colonoscopy or other type) beginning at age 50. The five-year survival rate for colon cancer now stands at about 90 percent when the cancer is found and treated early.
We provide comprehensive screening and diagnostic services, including colonoscopy—the most accurate, efficient technique to detect colon cancer.
The primary treatment for colon cancer is surgery, which is increasingly done as a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure. Laparoscopic surgery uses several smaller incisions that heal faster and limit damage to the patient’s immune system. Depending on the stage when cancer is detected, chemotherapy may also be an option for colon cancer treatment.
The primary treatment for rectal cancer—based on the stage of the cancer and additional factors—includes surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.
Learn more about our programs and the social workers, nutritionists and others who are available during and after your treatment to support you and your family.
Your risk of getting colorectal cancer increases as you get older. More than 90% of cases occur in people who are 50 years old or older. Other factors include:
- Having inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- A family history of colorectal cancer
- A personal history of colorectal polyps
You can lower your risk of developing colon cancer by:
- Exercising regularly
- Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetable and fiber
- Limit alcoholic drinks to no more than one per day
- Keep a healthy weight
- Quit using tobacco