Diagnosis and the Importance of Early Detection
Living a healthy and active lifestyle, undergoing regular screenings, staying
aware of cancer causes or red flags, and proactively maintaining a balanced
gut / intestine health can help prevent colon cancer. Importantly, regular
screenings for at-risk patients can help detect colon cancer early –
when it is most treatable – which can immediately increase chances
Colon cancer is diagnosed using a combination of patient history, physical
examination, endoscopy, radiology, and pathology. The diagnosis is often
made using colonoscopy with biopsies. When patients have endoscopy or
surgery for the disease, tissue is often submitted to a pathologist for
evaluation. The pathologist will examine the tissue under a microscope
and will make a positive diagnosis for colon cancer.
Colonoscopy is also important in patients with a history of colon cancer
for surveillance of the colon for development of tumor recurrence. Radiology
tests that may be ordered include X-ray and CT scan of the chest, abdomen,
and pelvis. These studies are often utilized in the evaluation for evidence
of metastatic disease (tumor spread beyond the primary site in the colon).
Prevention, Treatment, and Support
The treatment of colon cancer varies based upon whether there is spread
beyond the primary site in the colon. If there is no spread beyond the
primary site in the colon, the treatment is often removal of the involved
colon. Following removal of the colon, the pathologist will evaluate the
tumor under the microscope and give it a stage based upon the depth of
penetration of tumor in the wall of the colon and the presence of tumor
in the lymph nodes surrounding the tumor. Based upon the stage of the
tumor, postoperative chemotherapy may be recommended. Chemotherapy is
administered by a Medical Oncologist.
The recommendation for any treatment strategy is individualized based upon
the extent of disease and overall clinical presentation of the patient.
If there is tumor spread beyond the primary tumor and it is not amenable
to removal, surgery may not be recommended. In this situation, chemotherapy
is often administered.
Helping Patients Cope with Colon Cancer
If you or a loved one is currently facing colon cancer, do not think you
are alone. Coping with cancer can be an incredibly emotional, difficult,
and seemingly helpless battle, but our team partners alongside cancer
patients every step of the way. Our specialty services are specifically
tailored to suit your needs and it is our primary goal to help you reach
the best position to live a positive, happy, and healthy life after treatment.
Contact Manhattan Surgical Associates at (646) 798-4606 to learn how
we can help you.