Fighting Colon Cancer with You

Colon cancer is highly treatable in many stages, especially when found early. But any cancer diagnosis can be scary and unnerving. You and your family can rely on our support. Your team includes specialists from many areas working together. We care for people just like you every day.

Symptoms of colorectal cancer include:

  • Diarrhea, constipation or both
  • Thin, ribbon-like stools
  • Abdominal bloating or cramps
  • Feeling as if the bowel does not empty completely
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
  • Loose or watery stools
  • Unexplained weight loss and/or loss of appetite

What is Colorectal Cancer?

The large intestine is made up of the colon and rectum. Colorectal cancer is cancer found in the large intestine. It may develop in two ways:

  • Polyps, mushroom-like growths inside the colon, grow and become cancerous
  • Abnormal cells along the lining of the colon or rectum grow out of control, forming a tumor

Colon Cancer Screening

Talk to your primary care doctor about your personal risk for developing colon cancer. For people at average risk of developing colon cancer, screening should begin at age 50. If you have a family history of colon cancer or polyps, get screened at age 40 or 10 years before the age of the youngest case in your immediate family. If you are African American, get screened at age 45.

There are several screening options for colon cancer. A colonoscopy is the only cancer screening that can reliably find a problem in the colon before it becomes cancer. It is also the best method for finding cancer in the early stages when it is most treatable.

Learn more about colonoscopy

Colon Cancer Diagnosis

We use endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) for a more accurate diagnosis and staging of colorectal cancers. An inserted thin probe is combined with high-frequency ultrasound to obtain detailed images of the digestive track. Endoscopic Ultrasound is a low-risk procedure.

Colon Cancer Treatment

We have treatment options for those with early to late-stage cancers. These include traditional open surgery, minimally invasive techniques and non-surgical options including:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Image-guided radiation therapy
  • Laparoscopic colon cancer surgery
  • Minimally invasive techniques, including endoscopic mucosal resection, which removes cancerous tissue with a narrow, flexible endoscope
  • Open colon cancer surgery including resection or colectomy
  • Robotic colon cancer surgery

Colon Cancer Care at Guthrie

  • Board-certified specialists– our doctors are specially trained in the care of cancer. Your treatment and care team include colorectal surgeons, interventional radiologists, radiation and medical oncologists and gastroenterologists.
  • DaVinci robotic-assisted Surgery – Robotic-assisted surgery has many potential benefits for you: small incisions, less scarring, decreased blood loss, less pain and discomfort, shorter hospital stay and faster return to normal activities.
  • Cancer Nurse Navigator and social worker – cancer nurse navigators help you understand your diagnosis and guide you through the health system. Social workers provide emotional support.
  • Clinical Trials – Guthrie Clinical Research offers you treatment options not available in most hospitals.

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