Colon cancer information regarding prevention, symptoms and risks for San Antonio TX residents.

What risks are associated with treating colon cancer?

The majority of the risks of treatment for colon cancer are associated with side effects of the medications.  I will say that the risk of NOT treating colon cancer is higher than any of them.  The main risks of surgery for colon cancer are bleeding and infection.  There will likely be some degree of pain or discomfort afterwards as well.  These things we can control with medication.  If you require an ostomy bag after the operation there may be skin irritation and pain associated with that as well.  If radiation is required for the colon cancer, it can cause radiation damage to the tissues and organs around the colon.  This can cause scar tissue to develop which may lead to


By |2020-09-19T00:26:11-05:00February 26th, 2014||0 Comments

How is colon cancer treated?

In the unfortunate event that colon cancer is found in your colon on the exam, there are still options.  The success of these options all depend on how early the cancer was detected, obviously the earlier the better.  Most cancers, if caught in time, are still curable.

Once someone is diagnosed with colon cancer several things will happen.  First, the cancer will be staged.  What time means is, through a combination of biopsy, lab work and radiology studies I will determine if the cancer is localized (contained within that section of the colon only) or metastatic (has advanced through the wall of the colon into the blood supply, lymphatics or tissues beyond the colon).  The majority of the time when colon


By |2020-09-19T00:25:42-05:00February 26th, 2014||0 Comments

What symptoms can indicate colon cancer?

I will start by saying most colon cancer and most all polyps are asymptomatic.  Don’t wait until you develop symptoms to get checked.  Having said that, if you develop colon cancer the symptoms can include blood in your stool, change in the frequency, consistency of size of your stool (pencil thin stool), abdominal or back pain, unexplained weight loss, weakness, fatigue and shortness of breath.

By |2020-09-19T00:25:23-05:00February 26th, 2014||0 Comments

What tests are available to detect colon cancer?

There are several options available to help detect and prevent colorectal cancer in San Antonio TX.

  • Colonoscopy.    In this exam I pass a small flexible tube with a camera on the tip into and across the entire length of your colon while you are asleep.  With this exam polyps can be both found and removed.  Bowel prep before exam is required.  Click here for more information on the colonoscopy procedure.
  • Barium Enema.    A small tube is put into your rectum and the radiologist will instill barium (liquid) and air into your colon to dilate it while you are awake.  Then x-rays are taken to look for polyps or cancer. Bowel prep


By |2020-09-19T00:25:03-05:00February 26th, 2014||0 Comments

What are the risk factors for developing colon cancer?

Colon cancer affects people of all color, sex and ethnic background.  Some people with no known risk factors develop colon cancer.  Some people with several risk factors never develop colon cancer.  But, research has shown that there are certain identifiable risk factors that, if present, make it more important that you get colorectal cancer screening in San Antonio TX.

  • Age.    Although young people can develop colon cancer 9 out of 10 people that do develop colon cancer are over the age of 50.  This is why it is recommended that everyone over age 50 have a colonoscopy.
  • Family History.     If you have a first degree relative (parent, sibling


By |2020-09-19T00:24:40-05:00February 26th, 2014||0 Comments

How do I prevent colon cancer?

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, behind lung cancer. It is also preventable. Since most all colon cancer develops from colon polyps (small growths of tissue in the colon) that are allowed to continue to grow until they become cancer, the goal for prevention is to find and remove those polyps. The best way to do this is with colonoscopy. Current recommendation is to have your first colonoscopy at age 50 years old (40 year’s old if family history of colon cancer). During your colonoscopy your gastroenterologist will evaluate the inside lining of your colon with a long tube that has a camera


By |2020-09-19T00:24:12-05:00February 26th, 2014||0 Comments

What is colon cancer?

Colon cancer develops when a colon polyp is allowed to grow too long and change into cancer. The cells that line our colon (large intestine) are constantly being produced, utilized and then shed off and new ones grow back in their place. As this process happens there is a chance one of the cells may develop a defect that allows for uncontrolled cell growth. This uncontrolled growth can develop into a polyp and some of those polyps may continue to grow into a malignant cancer if not removed in time. The malignant cancer will then invade other healthy tissue in and around the colon and can lead to death.

By |2014-02-26T16:20:10-06:00February 26th, 2014||0 Comments
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