Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer, is cancer that forms in the colon or rectum. It can strike at any age, but 9 out of 10 people with colon cancer are age 50 or older.

What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer often has no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they may include the following:

  • Blood in your stools
  • Stools that are narrower than normal
  • Unexplained abdominal pain
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Unexplained anemia
  • Unexplained weight loss

How is colorectal cancer diagnosed?

There are several tests used to screen for colorectal cancer:

  • Colonoscopy, the only test that can detect polyps (or cancer) and prevent colorectal cancer by removing polyps during the same exam.
  • Test for traces of blood on spontaneously passed stool at least once a year
  • Double contrast barium enema, every 5 years
  • CT colonography, every 5 years
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy, every 5 years

Is colorectal cancer treatable?

When caught early, colorectal cancer is treatable. The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy recommends that everyone age 50 or older get screened for colorectal cancer. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer or other risk factors, you may need to begin screening earlier.

If you have concerns about colorectal cancer, request an appointment at San Bernardino Gastroenterology Associates.