What Is Colorectal Cancer and Is It a Women's Health Concern?

Summary: Colon and rectal cancer arises in the large intestine. Receiving routine colonoscopies can allow for early detection and an improved health prognosis.

Behind cancer of the breast, colorectal cancer is the second cause of cancer-related fatalities among women. The colon encompasses the majority of the digestive tract and draws water and remaining nutrients from remnants of food that has passed through the small intestine. The final segment of the large intestine is referred to as the rectum. In some cases, polyps, or small growths of cells, arise in the innermost surface of the colon or rectum. Such polyps generally present very few symptoms if any; however, intestinal growths can progress into colon or rectal cancer. Given that they are highly similar, colon and rectal cancer are generally categorized in the same group. Routine colon and rectal cancer screenings can catch evidence of colon cancer early and considerably boost a person's health forecast. You can schedule a colonoscopy and other forms of colon and rectal cancer screenings at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates. For a knowledgeable gastrointestinal (GI) doctor in Hinsdale, IL you can count on, consult our team to protect against colorectal cancer and other digestive issues.


Are there symptoms of colon and rectal cancer?

Colon cancer begins in the colon or rectum. Many people with colon or rectal cancer will show no symptoms in the early stages. The people who do experience symptoms could notice the following:

  • Ongoing abdominal cramps or discomfort
  • Changes in bowel movements
  • Unexplained weight loss
  •  Blood in stool or rectal bleeding

 In the event that you or a family member experience any of these symptoms, get in touch with Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates as soon as possible to visit with a digestive health specialist. If a cancerous polyp extends into the outside wall of the colon or rectum, it can infiltrate the lymph system or blood vessels and spread to additional portions of the body. Patients whose colon or rectal cancer spreads beyond the large intestine have substantially decreased rates of survival than patients whose cancer remains localized. As such, early identification and medical care are imperative.


What are common colon and rectal cancer risk factors?

 Even though any patient can get colorectal cancer, a few factors may put some at an elevated risk. Risk factors for colorectal cancer are:

  • Smoking
  • Having a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Obesity
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Being over 50

 Individuals having such factors or those with increased risk should get routine colorectal cancer screenings, such as colonoscopy procedures.


How is cancer of the colon or rectum diagnosed?

A variety of procedures for colon cancer screening are available to individuals at risk of developing colorectal cancer. These screening methods include fecal analysis, blood tests, and colonoscopy. To conduct a colonoscopy, a gastroenterologist places a flexible device housing a small camera into the large bowel to look for concerns, including growths in the colon. When colon polyps are discovered during a colonoscopy, they can often be removed at the time of the procedure and analyzed for signs of cancer. After colorectal cancer has been diagnosed, more involved testing can be carried out to establish if the cancer has spread and the options that might be the most effective in addressing it.


How is colon or rectal cancer treated?

The chosen treatment for colon cancer will be decided according to the location, stage, and size of the cancer and could include cancer removal surgery, radiation treatment, or chemotherapy. Colon polyps might take up to 10 or 15 years to turn into cancer. When a growth is diagnosed early, it can frequently be removed before it even transitions into cancer. For individuals who have localized colorectal cancer and receive proper medical treatment, the five-year chance of survival is approximately 90%. Undergoing a routine colonoscopy can save your life, but about 30% of adults in the country are not up to date on their screenings for colon cancer.


Set up a colonoscopy in Hinsdale, IL 

As the second-greatest cause of death from cancer among women, colorectal cancer is a serious health concern. However, the condition is generally treatable and easily detectable through a routine colonoscopy procedure. People older than 50 or who are experiencing conditions that heighten their risk of colon cancer should schedule regular colonoscopy screenings. Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates utilizes the most cutting-edge technology and processes to enhance digestive health, and our physician-led network works with a patient-centric mentality. To find out additional information concerning colon and rectal cancer or other GI conditions, contact our GI office in Hinsdale, IL.