From Preventive Care to Diagnosis and Treatment
Colon cancer is found in the large intestine (colon)—the lower part of the digestive system. Rectal cancer is cancer of the last several inches of the colon. Together, they're often referred to as colorectal cancers.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the U.S., excluding skin cancers.
Regular early detection screenings can help prevent colon cancer by identifying polyps (a mass of tissue that develops on the inside wall of a hollow organ like the colon) before they become cancerous. Catholic Health Services offers the latest technology for the early diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer.
Call (844) 86-CANCER (844-862-2623) for more information.
What are the signs and symptoms of colon cancer?
Signs and symptoms include:
- A change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool
- Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
- Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
- A feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely
- Weakness or fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
Increased Risk Factors
If you are at an increased or high risk of colorectal cancer, you may need to start colorectal cancer screening before age 45 and/or be screened more often. The following conditions make your risk higher than average:
- A personal history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps
- A personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)
- A strong family history of colorectal cancer or polyps
- A known family history of a hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or Lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer or HNPCC)
Why Choose CHS?
We offer a full spectrum of colon cancer care from early detection screenings to the latest technological advances for treatment and surgery. Our team of colon cancer experts customize treatment plans based on the diagnosis.
CHS Cancer Institutes throughout Long Island provide the comfort of care close to home. All are accredited by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.
Diagnosing and Treating Colon Cancer
CHS's colon cancer specialists may recommend one or more of the following tests and procedures if your signs and symptoms indicate a possibility of colon cancer.
- Colonoscopy: a long, flexible and slender tube attached to a video camera and monitor is used to view the entire colon and rectum and take tissue samples (biopsies) for analysis
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy
- Double-contrast barium enema
- CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy)
- Blood tests
- Computerized Tomography (CT) scan
If diagnosed with colon cancer, CHS's colon cancer doctors will review treatment options based on the stage of the cancer. If surgery is needed, our colon cancer surgeons can treat for early-stage colon cancer, invasive colon cancer or advanced colon cancer.