Colon Cancer Specialist

California Colorectal Surgeons

Colon and Rectal Surgery located in Beverly Hills, CA

Even though colon cancer can be prevented, more than half of all cases are diagnosed after they spread. The team of physicians at California Colorectal Surgeons offers screening colonoscopies to prevent colon cancer. They’re also the experts you can count on when you need minimally invasive surgery to remove colon cancer. If you have questions about screening or need treatment for colon cancer, call the office in Beverly Hills, California, or book an appointment online.

Colon Cancer Q & A

California Colorectal Surgeons

What causes colon cancer?

More than 95% of all colon cancers begin as non-cancerous polyps that grow in the lining of the colon (large intestine). These polyps become cancerous when cellular DNA is damaged and cells in the polyps grow too rapidly, ultimately forming a tumor.

What symptoms will I develop from colon cancer?

In its early stages, colon cancer doesn’t cause symptoms. You’ll only begin to experience symptoms after the tumor grows or spreads, then you’ll develop:

  • Change in bowel habits such as diarrhea, constipation, change in stool consistency, or narrow stools
  • Feeling your bowel doesn’t empty
  • Blood in your stool (bright red or dark)
  • Abdominal cramps or pain
  • Feeling full or bloated
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue

It’s important to know that colon cancer seldom causes pain. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, don’t wait to feel pain — schedule an appointment with California Colorectal Surgeons.

What increases my risk of colon cancer?

There are many possible risk factors for colon cancer. Age increases your risk because most colon cancers develop after the age of 40 or 50. Other risk factors include:

  • History of colon polyps
  • A family history of colon cancer
  • Personal history of colon cancer
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Physical inactivity
  • Being overweight
  • Diet high in red meat and processed meat
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis)

Heavy alcohol use is also associated with a higher risk of colon cancer.

How can I prevent colon cancer?

In addition to changing your lifestyle to lower your risk factors, you can prevent colon cancer with a colonoscopy. During a colonoscopy, your doctor at California Colorectal Surgeons finds and removes polyps before they become cancerous, or when they’re still in an early stage of cancer.

All adults should undergo a colonoscopy around the age of 45 or 50. Your doctor may recommend earlier screening if you’re at a high risk for colon cancer.

How is colon cancer treated?

Colon cancer is treated with surgery. Using minimally invasive techniques such as laparoscopic or robotic surgery, the physicians at California Colorectal Surgeons remove the affected portion of your colon along with its blood supply and associated lymph nodes. Then the two ends of the colon are reconnected to maintain bowel function.

If your cancer is advanced, surgery may be preceded or followed by chemotherapy. Chemotherapy prior to surgery helps to shrink the tumor, while it’s used after surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells.

When you need expert treatment for colon cancer, you can depend on the team at California Colorectal Surgeons. To schedule an appointment, call or book a visit online.