Colon cancer (colorectal cancer) is the third most common cancer in both men and women. Most colon cancers are adenocarcinomas, which start as noncancerous polyps in the lining of the rectum or colon that slowly develop into cancer over 10 to 15 years.
Colonoscopy and other screening tests can help your doctor at Dignity Health North State check your colon for polyps. Early detection is key to the successful prevention and treatment of colon cancer. If you are concerned about colon cancer in Northern California, Find a Doctor near you using our online tool.
What Causes Colon Cancer?
The exact cause of colon cancer is unknown, but certain risk factors can increase your likelihood of developing it, including:
- Age 50 and older
- African American race
- History of colorectal polyps or cancer
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
- Type 2 diabetes
- Genetics, including genetic syndromes and mutations in genes
- Certain lifestyle factors, including obesity, poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, and heavy alcohol use
Colon Cancer Symptoms
Colon cancer is often found before symptoms start through screening exams. When symptoms of colon cancer develop, they can include:
- Weakness or tiredness
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Feeling of incomplete emptying after a bowel movement
- Changes in bowel habits, including constipation, diarrhea, or narrowing of the stool
- Rectal bleeding
- Bloody stool
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
Other conditions, such as hemorrhoids, may have similar conditions. See your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Colon Cancer Treatment Options at Dignity Health North State
The standard treatment options for colon cancer include:
- Targeted therapy
Current colon cancer treatments are more effective than ever — more than one million Americans are survivors of colon cancer. Talk to your doctor at Dignity Health North State about your screening, prevention, and treatment options today.