Colon Cancer

Colon Cancer services offered in Waldorf, MD

Colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer worldwide today, with more than 150,000 new cases annually in the United States. GI Associates of Maryland, the largest private gastroenterology practice in Southern Maryland, offers personalized, compassionate care with an uplifting attitude to help you prevent, diagnose, and navigate colon cancer successfully. Call the Waldorf, Maryland office or endoscopy center, or click the online feature to book your appointment today.

Colon Cancer Q & A

Could bowel issues be colon cancer?

Bowel issues can point to many different problems, most of them noncancerous. However, they can be a sign of colon cancer. Some bowel issues and other problems to look for include frequent concerns with:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Blood in your stool
  • Stool appearance changes, like narrowing stools
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Gas
  • Lingering sensation of fullness after bowel movements
  • Unintended weight loss 

If you have any of these issues, it’s most likely a treatable noncancerous condition; however, if you do have colon cancer, getting it diagnosed early (through preventive screenings) allows you to start treatment and protect your health right away. 

Am I at risk of colon cancer?

Colon cancer usually affects people over age 50, but it can affect younger people too. A few factors lead to a higher risk of colon cancer, including a high-fat diet, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and a history of inflammatory bowel diseases (ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, or others). 

When do I need to start colon cancer screenings?

If you have an average risk of colon cancer, the US Preventive Task Force recommends colon cancer screenings starting from age 45. Certain risk factors can influence your colon cancer screening schedule, so you may need to start earlier if you have any of the following:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • History of colorectal cancer
  • History of colorectal polyps
  • Genetic conditions such as familial adenomatous polyposis or Lynch syndrome

The team recommends the right time for your first cancer screening and subsequent screening tests (usually, you have anywhere from a year to 10 years between screenings). 

What kind of colon cancer screening do I need?

The team recommends the correct screening test for you. Most people need a colonoscopy to look inside the colon for signs of precancerous cells. They can also remove extra tissue (polyps) during a colonoscopy. Most polyps aren’t cancerous, but removing them eliminates the risk. 

If the team discovers colon cancer during screening, they customize a treatment approach for you. The main options include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. The earlier you treat colon cancer, the better the outcome. But, there are surgical options for even late-stage colon cancer. 

Call GI Associates of Maryland or click the online scheduler now to learn more about protecting yourself with colon cancer screening.