Colorectal Cancer

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The dedicated team at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center is committed to comprehensive, personalized cancer care. Our colorectal cancer specialists will create a treatment plan focused on your quality of life and ensuring you receive the best treatment options for you.

What Is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States. Most colon cancers, about 70 percent, develop in the first 4-5 feet of the large intestine. The other 30 percent develop in the rectum, the 6-8 inches  closest to the anus. Collectively, colon and rectal cancers are referred to as colorectal cancers.

Who Gets Colorectal Cancer?

The majority of colorectal cancers occur in an older population. However, the incidence of colon cancer in young patients is becoming more common. Both men and women have about the same chance of getting colorectal cancer. Some people are at higher risk, such as those with a personal or family history of colon or rectal cancer or lifestyle habits like smoking, or who may have specific hereditary mutations that may lead to a genetic predisposition.

What Kind of Doctor Treats Colorectal Cancer?

Banner MD Anderson offers treatment of colorectal cancer with a multidisciplinary approach. Our team of experts includes colorectal surgeons, surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, gastroenterologists and radiation oncologists as well as physician assistants, nurse practitioners, oncology nurses, social workers, pharmacists, counselors and dietitians.

What Causes Colorectal Cancer?

While there’s no way to completely prevent colorectal cancer, there are things you can do to lower your risk. Colorectal cancer risk factors include exposure to chemicals or other substances, as well as lifestyle habits. Causes also include things that cannot be controlled, like age and family history. In addition, screening for colorectal cancer with colonoscopy can remove precancerous polyps that could potentially become cancer.

Colorectal Cancer Causes, Risk Factors, and Prevention

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer?

Many cancers and less serious conditions have similar symptoms. However, knowing the signs of colorectal cancer may help you catch it early when treatment is most successful. The most common sign of colorectal cancer is a growth in the colon, which may bleed or narrow your intestine, causing blood in your stool, anemia or a change in bowel habits.

Colorectal Cancer Signs and Symptoms

What Screenings and Tests Are Available for Colorectal Cancer?

Regular colorectal cancer screenings, like colonoscopies, are the key to prevention. If a screening shows signs of colorectal cancer, additional tests may be needed such as blood tests, stool exams, imaging or surgical procedures. Your doctor will discuss your stage and prognosis after a full panel of diagnostic tests.

Colorectal Cancer Tests, Diagnosis, and Stages

How Is Colorectal Cancer Treated?

Depending on the stage of cancer, your doctor may recommend surgery, radiation therapy and/or medication therapy such as chemotherapy. Screening tests for colorectal cancer can help find it early, increasing your chance of successful treatment.

Colorectal Cancer Treatment and Support