Facts About Colorectal Cancer

Posted By Author on June 29, 2023

Medical jargon and misinformation can leave patients feeling overwhelmed, but here at Charleston GI, we provide a higher standard of caring. This involves separating fact from fiction to ensure the patients we proudly serve are always informed. Our experienced gastroenterologists have provided some helpful information about colorectal cancer below, so read on to learn more.

Colorectal Cancer awareness, gi tract icons

What Is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is a disease that impacts the colon or rectum – parts that both play a vital role in digestion. Unlike many other types of cancer, colorectal cancer can often be prevented through routine screenings. When detected early, it is also very treatable.

Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

Many patients do not experience any symptoms during the disease’s early stages, but as colorectal cancer progresses, you may experience the following:

  • Persistent change in bowel habits (constipation, diarrhea, etc.)
  • Rectal bleeding or bloody stool
  • Long-lasting abdominal discomfort (pain, cramping, etc.)
  • Unexplained fatigue or weakness
  • Sensation that bowel is not completely empty
  • Unintentional weight loss

Screening For Colorectal Cancer  

Here at Charleston GI, our gastroenterologists utilize the most advanced technology and testing to detect colorectal cancer. Our goal is to stop cancer in its tracks, preventing the disease through screenings like these:

  • Colonoscopy or endoscopy: Checks for polyps using a thin tube with a camera attached
  • Stool tests: Includes guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT), fecal immunochemical test (FIT), or DNA stool test
  • Biopsy: Retrieves a polyp or takes a tissue sample to check for cancer cells
  • Blood tests: Used in tandem with another screening to confirm a colorectal cancer diagnosis

Treatment For Colorectal Cancer  

If you are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, our GI specialists will create a customized treatment plan. Depending on the stage of the disease and your unique circumstances, treatment may be localized or systemic.

Often performed on earlier stage colorectal cancers, local treatments like surgery or radiation therapy exclusively treat the tumor without affecting the rest of the body. Systemic treatments, in contrast, are given to kill cancer cells throughout nearly the entire body. Systemic treatments, like chemotherapy or immunotherapy, are drugs given orally or injected into the bloodstream.

Showing Signs of Colorectal Cancer? Contact Charleston GI Today!

Here at Charleston GI, our board-certified gastroenterologists are experienced in treating a wide variety of conditions, ranging from mildly irritating to life threatening. So if you are experiencing unpleasant GI symptoms, please do not suffer in silence. Keep in mind that many colorectal cancer patients do not exhibit any symptoms early on, making preventative screenings even more important.

But if you are experiencing any of the symptoms detailed above, our team is here to help, offering compassionate care each step of the way. Plus, we have four convenient Charleston area locations to choose from – in West Ashley, Mount Pleasant, Carnes Crossroads and Summerville.

Charleston GI doctors are ready 5 days a week to offer you medical relief. There’s no referral needed, so schedule your appointment today with your local GI specialists!

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