What is Colorectal cancer?
Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon), the lower part of your digestive system. Rectal cancer is cancer of the last several inches of the colon. Together, they’re often referred to as colorectal cancers.
Most cases of colon cancer begin as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Over time some of these polyps become colon cancers.
Polyps may be small and produce few, if any, symptoms. for this reason, doctors recommend regular screening tests to help prevent colon cancer by identifying polyps before they become colon cancer.
It’s the Second Leading Cancer Killer
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, but it doesn’t have to be. Few cancers are as easily preventable as colon cancer. Removing precancerous growths, called polyps, from the colon prevents the development of colon cancer. Even if colon cancer has already developed, finding it and treating it before symptoms are present result in a greater than 90% treatment success. If everyone aged 50 years or older had regular screening tests, at least 60% of deaths from this cancer could be avoided. So if you are 50 or older, start getting screened now.
If you have any questions or want additional information about colorectal cancer, please contact Iowa Digestive Disease Center at 515-288-6097.