Colon Cancer - Adventist HealthCare

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Colon Cancer

Trust Adventist HealthCare for advanced, comprehensive treatment of colon and rectal (colorectal) cancer.

Advanced, Coordinated Cancer Care

Did You Know?

Approximately 60-70 million Americans suffer from digestive health diseases. This includes everything from heartburn to colon cancer. The good news is that many digestive health conditions can be effectively treated - and even prevented.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosis in the United States. At Adventist HealthCare, you have access to the most sophisticated treatments in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area.

Your expert care is coordinated by a multidisciplinary cancer care team focused on your personalized treatment plan. This includes your own cancer care navigator, who ensures the best possible outcome for you and your loved ones by guiding you through every step of your experience—from diagnosis to support services to recovery.

You may also have access to clinical trials, which test emerging treatments targeted to your condition.

Risk Factors of Colon & Rectal Cancer

There is no single cause of colon and rectal cancer. But you may have a greater chance of developing the disease if you have any of the following risk factors:

  • A family history—or past diagnosis—of colon or rectal cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer or uterine cancer
  • Are of African-American descent
  • Are male
  • Are over the age of 50

If you have any of these indicators, see your doctor for regular preventive screenings, which could include a colonoscopy.

Symptoms of Colon & Rectal Cancer

You may not see any signs of colorectal cancer in the disease’s early stages. It’s why timely detection through preventive screening is key. If symptoms do present, signs of cancer can include:

  • Change in bowel habits, including increased frequency, diarrhea or constipation
  • Blood in your stool or darkened stools
  • Abdominal pain or tenderness in your lower abdomen
  • Rectal pain
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

Treatment for Colon & Rectal Cancer at Adventist HealthCare

Most forms of colorectal cancer require surgery to remove the affected areas. At Adventist HealthCare, you benefit from some of the latest surgical treatments available.

This includes the minimally invasive da Vinci Robotic Surgical System, an alternative to traditional surgery. With da Vinci robotic-assisted surgery, you benefit from reduced blood loss, scarring and risk of infection, as well as fewer complications and a quicker recovery.

You and your doctor will also decide on other courses of treatment that best fit the stage and location of your cancer. Treatment options include:

  • Chemotherapy – Medication that stops or slows the growth of cancer cells
  • Radiation therapy – High-energy waves that destroy or damage cancer cells; used frequently in rectal cancer
  • Palliative chemotherapy – Shrinks tumors that cause pain or pressure; frequently used with other medications in later stages of the disease

Tips to Prevent Colon & Rectal Cancer

You may reduce your risk for colorectal cancer if you follow these tips:

  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco.
  • Get frequent preventive screenings starting at age 50 (or earlier if you’re at a higher risk).

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