Oncology

Bowel/Colorectal Cancer

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Also known as colorectal or colon cancer, bowel cancer occurs when tumors form in the large intestine or bowel and rectum. While bowel cancer is common among both women and men, the risk of developing the cancer is heightened after the age of 50. In addition, those with a family history of colorectal diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, or those who have diets high in fat, are often more at risk. View our Bowel Cancer Providers.

Bowel Cancer Symptoms

Most people do not notice symptoms of bowel cancer at first, so tests and screenings, especially after the age of 50, are very important. Those who do experience symptoms may deal with the following:

  • Changes in bowel movements including diarrhea or constipation
  • Blood in your stool, or bleeding with no source such as a fissures or soreness
  • Pain or cramps in your stomach, or a bloated feeling
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Constant fatigue

If you are experiencing any, or a combination, of the above symptoms, contact your physician today to set up a screening or call the CareMount Medical Cancer Center Referral Line at 1-844-484-3292.

Diagnosing Bowel Cancer

The tests that are ordered for diagnosis will depend on your physician or surgeon, but very often include image guided biopsies such as a colonoscopy or colonography. This will allow the doctor to evaluate all symptoms and determine what the root cause is.

Stages of Bowel Cancer

The classification of the severity of bowel cancer will depend on the stage that it has reached at that point in time. There are four main stages that are determined based on the area to which the cancer has spread. Because this type of cancer can spread quickly, it’s important to make sure that you are taking proactive measures to prevent the cancer or discover it early.

Stage Description
Stage 1 The cancer has grown past the mucosa, or inner layer of the colon, the the next layer, called the submucosa.
Stage 2 The cancer has not reached the lymph nodes, but has grown to the outer layer of the colon, potentially to the membrane that holds the abdominal organs in place, or the nearby organs or structures.
Stage 3 The cancer has grown through the muscle layers and is found in the nearby lymph nodes, potentially multiple, but has not spread to a distant node or organ.
Stage 4 The cancer has spread to one or more distant sites, such as the liver or lungs.

Bowel Cancer Treatment

The type of treatment you will receive will heavily depend on the stage of the cancer. However, most often the treatments will be:

  • Surgery to remove the affected area of your bowel along with the cancer. This is the most common treatment at all stages. For rectal cancer, Sphincter Saving Surgery is preferred to help retain normal bowel function.
  • Interventional radiology, such as radiofrequency ablation, may be recommended to kill the cancer cells to prevent any sort of spreading.
  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are often suggested as common treatments to kill the cancer. However, the way these therapies are administered will depend on the stage and severity of the cancer.

Schedule a Consultation

To schedule an appointment or obtain a second opinion on your diagnosis, please call the CareMount Medical Cancer Center Referral Line at 1-844-484-3292.

Bowel Cancer Providers