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Colon Cancer Treatment

The Cancer Center at Glendale Adventist Medical Center offers comprehensive options for colon cancer treatment and screening.

Also referred to as colorectal cancer, 95% of cancer in the colon or rectum begins as a polyp or tissue growth that starts in one of the inner layers lining the colon or rectum and pushes through other layers in towards the center of the colon or rectum. These polyps can develop slowly over several years and can become cancerous.

Every day, physicians understand more and more about colorectal cancer. For instance, we now know that colorectal cancer:

  • Has the same incidence rate in men and women
  • The average age of presentation is 72
  • Appears more in developed countries
  • Is more associated with people who eat high-fat, low-fiber diets 

Watch a Video about Colon Cancer

Watch the the episode below brought to you by Glendale Adventist's TV show, Healthline, as medical experts discuss colon cancer treatment. Want to learn more? Click here to see other video topics.

 

Screening

For many, the hardest part of a colorectal screening is making the decision to do it. In actuality, colorectal cancer screening is one of the easiest ways to catch cancer early. Studies prove that catching colorectal cancer early, dramatically improves the patient's cure rate. GAMC helps patients screen for cancer using several different methods:

  • Fecal occult blood test - Tests the stool for blood, which may be a sign of cancer
  • Digital rectal exam - Feels the lower part of the rectum for abnormalities
  • Sigmoidoscopy - Looks inside the lower rectum using a thin tube with a light and a lens. This procedure also allows physicians to remove pre-cancerous polyps.
  • Colonoscopy - Follows a similar procedure to the sigmoidoscopy but checks the entire colon with a thin, tube-like instrument for polyps or abnormalities and can then remove abnormal findings. This is the gold standard for colorectal screening.
  • Barium enema/Lower GI series - Liquid containing barium is put into the rectum. The barium coats the lining of the lower gastrointestinal tract to allow x-rays to be taken to look for cancerous growths.

 Treatment

There are several different methods available to treat patients with colorectal cancer. Choosing the right method depends on what stage the cancer is in, treatments available, and the personal preference of the patient. GAMC understands that no one knows your body better than you, that's why each treatment plan is specifically tailored to give you the best possible outcome.
Some of the best treatments used by GAMC include the following:

  • Colonoscopy - Physicians can actually remove polyps or abnormalities during a routine colonoscopy.
  • Surgery - The most common treatment, in which a small or large portion of the colon is removed.
  • Radiation - Kills cancer cells using external radiation.
  • Chemotherapy - Uses drugs to kill cancer cells or stop them from dividing.

 For more information about cancer, screenings and treatment options at GAMC, call (818) 409-8100.