Colorectal cancer is a common cancer, affecting one in 23 men and one in 25 women. If you experience rectal bleeding or changes in bowel patterns, visit the office of Ren Yu Zhang, MD, in Las Vegas, Nevada. As a board-certified colorectal surgeon, Dr. Zhang offers colorectal cancer screening and individualized treatment. Schedule an appointment today by phone or online.
Colorectal cancer refers to cancer that occurs in your colon or rectum. Your colon is your large intestine, the final major organ of your digestive tract. The rectum is a pouch between the colon and anus, where feces collects until it’s expelled through the anus.
Colorectal cancer can affect people of all ages, but it is more common in older adults. It often begins as polyps – small precancerous growths inside your intestine. Colorectal cancer screening helps detect cancer before it becomes a severe problem.
Common symptoms you can experience with colorectal cancer include:
At the first sign of colon cancer, schedule a visit to the office of Ren Yu Zhang, MD, for an evaluation.
Anyone can develop colon cancer, but some factors increase your risk of developing it. These things include:
Healthy lifestyle habits and routine cancer screenings are excellent ways to lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer. Eat a variety of veggies, whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, and other legumes. Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight.
To diagnose colorectal cancer, Dr. Zhang checks your vital signs and discusses your symptoms and medical history. He completes a physical exam and often recommends you undergo blood tests to detect or rule out specific medical problems.
He performs a colonoscopy using a thin, flexible scope to view the inside of your colon and rectum. If he finds suspicious growths (polyps), he can remove them and send them to a lab for analysis. If you have cancer, Dr. Zhang could suggest that you have imaging procedures, like a CT scan, to determine what stage your cancer is in.
Common treatments for colorectal cancer include:
Removing polyps and other cancerous tissues can get rid of cancer cells and prevent colorectal cancer from spreading to other parts of your body.
Chemotherapy uses medications to destroy cancer cells. You can undergo chemotherapy in addition to surgical removal of cancerous tissue.
Radiation therapy uses protons, X-rays, or other energy sources to kill cancer cells and shrink larger tumors before surgery.
Targeted drug treatments kill cancer cells. You might receive targeted drugs with chemotherapy if you have an advanced stage of colorectal cancer.
Immunotherapy is another drug treatment for colorectal cancer. It uses your body’s immune system to fight off and recover from cancer.If you have colorectal cancer symptoms or are at risk of developing the disease, schedule a colon cancer screening at the office of Ren Yu Zhang, MD. Call today or book an appointment online.