Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women. Thanks to improvements in prevention, early detection and treatment, more than a million people in the U.S. count themselves as survivors of colon or rectum cancer (also called colorectal cancer).
Even if you’re healthy and have no signs or symptoms, it’s important to have regular colon cancer screenings, usually starting at age 50, but earlier if you have a family history of colon cancer. The best type of screening is a colonoscopy. With a colonoscopy, your doctor can identify and remove polyps before they have a chance to become cancerous.
If you have a family history of colon cancer, you doctor may perform special genetic tests and recommend you receive screening exams more often and at a younger age.
The most common colon cancer treatment is surgery. In many cases, the surgeon can use a minimally invasive approach involving the removal of the cancer and some of the surrounding tissue. Other treatment options include chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
If you’re diagnosed with colon cancer, you can count on Mercy’s specialists for the best care possible. Because we treat you as a whole person. We know your health and well-being don’t depend only on meeting your physical needs – you may also need support for your emotional and spiritual needs.
So we also offer a team of radiologists and oncologists and even counselors who can help you cope and move forward. From day one, you’ll be involved with your care. We’ll answer all your questions so you understand and are comfortable with your colon cancer treatment plan.