I would just like to take a minute to remind everyone March is colorectal cancer awareness month. Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and in women.
What is Colorectal Cancer?
Colorectal cancer refers to cancer in the colon and/or rectum, or both. As the graphic below shows, the colon is part of the large intestine or large bowel. The rectum is the passageway that connects the colon to the anus.
Most colorectal cancers develop first as polyps, which are abnormal growths inside the colon or rectum that may later become cancerous if they are not removed. Colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum) is very treatable when it is discovered early. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the US, and the second leading cause of cancer death. It affects men and women of all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people 50 years or older.
Who should be Screened?
The American Cancer Society recently recommended that adults without a family history should begin colorectal cancer screening at age 45. This screening should be completed sooner if there is a family history of Colorectal Cancer or symptoms present such as blood in the stool.
Types of Screens
Some of the most common screening methods include:
Colonoscopy. A colonoscopy allows the doctor to look inside the entire rectum and colon while a patient is sedated. A flexible, lighted tube called a colonoscope is inserted into the rectum and the entire colon to look for polyps or cancer.
Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) and fecal immunochemical test (FIT). A fecal occult blood test is used to find blood in the feces, or stool, which can be a sign of polyps or cancer.
Please see your primary care provider with any questions you may have in regards to Colorectal cancer. The information provided in this blog was obtained from the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.
Dr. Neera Bhatia and staff are committed to women’s health and are monitoring the rapidly changing events related to coronavirus (COVID-19). Our team is vaccinated against COVID-19, so our patients can feel safe visiting us. For more questions about your health and pregnancy, contact Dr. Neera Bhatia, your San Antonio OB/GYN today at (210) 222-2694!0