Colorectal Cancer

Besides skin cancers, colorectal cancers are the third most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States, which includes colon cancer. The team at Charleston Oncology specializes in diagnosing and treating colon cancer in both men and women with an eye toward early intervention. If you’re at risk for colon cancer or have a diagnosis, call to find out about the latest treatments.

Colorectal Cancer Q & A

How is colorectal cancer diagnosed?

Colon cancer, like many other cancers, remains somewhat of a mystery when it comes to the underlying cause. Some people are more at risk because of a gene mutation, but they account for a minimal number. The vast majority of colon cancers are because of an acquired gene mutation that may stem from diet, environment, obesity, and many other factors.

The bottom line is that medical researchers still aren’t sure what causes colon cancer, but great strides have been made in diagnosing the disease through screening.

The first line of defense when it comes to cancer is early detection. Through a colonoscopy, your doctor performs a visual examination of your colon to check for growths, or polyps, which have the potential of becoming precancerous or cancerous.

Your doctor removes larger polyps during your colonoscopy and tests them for any signs of cancer.

You should get your first colonoscopy at age 50, earlier if you have a family history. Depending upon the findings, your doctor recommends a schedule for follow-up screenings.

What are the stages of colon cancer?

There are four stages of colon cancer:

  • Stage I – The cancer is confined to the superficial lining of your colon
  • Stage II – The cancer has invaded the wall of your colon
  • Stage III – The cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the area
  • Stage IV – The cancer has spread to distant parts of your body

The doctors at Charleston Oncology are experts in their field and have the tools necessary to determine which stage your colon cancer is in, which dictates your treatment options.

What are the treatments for colon cancer?
In the early stages of colon cancer, your doctor removes the cancerous or precancerous polyps from your colon, which they do either during your colonoscopy or a separate laparoscopic procedure. No matter what stage your cancer is in, it’s likely that you’ll need a cancer center such as Charleston Oncology to help guide you through your treatment options outside of surgery, which include:
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted drug therapies
The team of hematologists and oncologists offers the latest treatment protocols, as well as clinical trials, to help combat your colon cancer. To learn more about fighting colon cancer, call Charleston Oncology to schedule an appointment.

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