Detecting and Treating Colorectal Cancer
Some types of cancers are associated with some distinctive symptoms that cause people to make an appointment with their primary care physician or other provider, including one at our Phoenix colorectal cancer treatment center. In the case of colorectal cancer there is not a definitive set of symptoms that point to a cancer diagnosis and patients may experience a range of symptoms before seeing a doctor. In fact, most cases of colorectal cancer are found during the process of routine screenings. Any of the five following tests may be used as a diagnostic screening method:
- A digital rectal exam (DRE); this is often done during annual physical exams
- Stool tests
- A colonoscopy, a test when a long, thin lighted tube is used to examine the whole of the colon for polyps and other abnormalities
- A double-contrast barium enema, which uses special fluid to make the interior of the colon visible on an x-ray
- A sigmoidoscopy, where a thin, lighted tube is used to examine the sigmoid colon for abnormal growths, including polyps
If any screening reveals polyps or other abnormalities, a biopsy may be performed. This is a test where a small sample of tissue is taken from the area of concern and then examined closely in a lab. If the biopsy results show the presence of cancerous cells, then other tests can be done to find out if the cancer has spread and, if so, how far.
Treating Colorectal Cancer
Patients come to our Phoenix cancer center to seek a range of treatment solutions. In general, colorectal cancer is treated with certain kinds of surgery. Surgery is often enough to treat cancer that has not metastasized (spread to other parts of the body). If it has spread, then other treatments such as radiation therapy may be outlined by the care team.
We are happy to discuss radiation therapy in more detail as well as other treatment options for colorectal cancer patients. Contact the Phoenix CyberKnife and Radiation Oncology Center today.