Advanced colon cancer is a leading cause of early death in the United States. But if identified early, you stand a good chance of recovering fully. The colon cancer experts at Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants in Santa Ana and Irvine, California, can treat early-stage cancers using colonoscopy. They also offer screening programs to identify cancer early before it becomes less treatable. Call Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants today or book an appointment online to schedule your colon cancer evaluation.
Colon cancer affects the large intestine (bowel) between your small intestine and rectum. Growths develop in the colon that, without treatment, can metastasize (spread to other organs and tissues).
The colon performs a vital digestive function. It houses beneficial bacteria that break down food delivered by the small intestine. The bacterial activity produces nutrients that your colon then extracts. After your colon draws off most of the water, the remaining material forms stools that pass into your rectum.
When colon cancer is detected early, it’s far easier to treat successfully — about 90% of people receiving early treatment live at least five years after their diagnosis. But if colon cancer spreads into the liver and beyond, five-year survival rates fall to 11%.
To ensure you get prompt treatment for colon cancer, arrange a colonoscopy screening at intervals recommended by your doctor at Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants.
Several lab tests are available to diagnose colon cancer, including fecal occult blood tests. But if you visit Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants with colon cancer symptoms, they’ll almost certainly recommend a colonoscopy.
This procedure is the best diagnostic tool for colon cancer. It also can enable your doctor to treat early signs of cancer. You receive a sedative to relax while your doctor inserts a flexible tube fitted with a camera (the colonoscope) into your rectum.
The camera sends images of your colon to a screen in the treatment room. Your doctor analyzes the images to locate any polyps. They use special instruments that fit down the colonoscope to remove all the polyps (whether they’re cancerous or not) to prevent cancer from developing in the future.
The treatment your Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants doctor recommends depends on how advanced your colon cancer is. In its early stages, your doctor can remove small, contained growths during a colonoscopy (endoscopic mucosal resection or EMR).
You might require ablation or embolization for masses that have started to spread to the liver or elsewhere. These techniques destroy cancer cells using methods like freezing (cryoablation), high-energy radio waves (radiofrequency ablation), or electromagnetic microwaves (microwave ablation).
Other colon cancer treatments include chemotherapy, targeted drug treatments, and radiation therapy. Some patients require surgery.
Call Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants today to arrange a colon cancer screening or book an appointment online.