Colon and Rectal Cancer

Colon cancer screening exams are an important preventative measure that will help find colon and rectal cancer in its early stages. Colon cancer screening tests performed at Surgical Associates of Mansfield can help save lives, as these tests help your surgeon find polyps or cancerous spots before you ever display symptoms. These essential tests can prevent polyps from forming and turning into cancer, which could allow you to get a jumpstart on treatment and stop cancer in its tracks.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common disease that develops from precancerous polyps located in the colon or rectum. Detecting this form of cancer early on is imperative to a patient’s recovery and in reducing the number of CRC-related deaths in the United States. Medical experts indicate that regular screening for colorectal cancer can improve survival rates and optimize treatment outcomes, for patients of all ages. For those who have shown no prior symptoms of colorectal cancer or other conditions in these body parts, regular colorectal cancer screening is recommended starting at age 50. For those who are at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer, screening should begin at a younger age and should be done more often. Your physician will be able to advise you on how often colorectal cancer screening is necessary, based on your current health and medical history.

Colon and Rectal Surgery

If you are diagnosed with a colon or rectal cancer, it is important to get in touch with a Colon and Rectal surgeon to plan management and treatment of this disease. At Surgical Associates of Mansfield, we take your cancer diagnosis seriously and our policy is to have you seen in our clinic within one week of your diagnosis. We can help with staging of your cancer and a treatment plan. If you are a candidate for surgery, we will have your surgery scheduled within two weeks of your clinic appointment to avoid any delays in cancer care. We use a multidisciplinary approach to your cancer care and work closely with the medical oncologists and radiation oncologists in the region to ensure you are taken care of in accordance to national guidelines. Our robotically trained Colon and Rectal surgeon, Dr. Winston Chan, is able to perform most surgeries minimally invasive and with low rates of needing a colostomy or ileostomy. Procedures performed include:

  • Robotic colectomy
  • Robotic sphincter preserving proctectomy
  • Transanal minimally invasive surgery (TAMIS)
    • Used for rectal polyps and early rectal cancer
  • Combined endoscopic laparoscopic surgery (CELS)
    • Enables “unresectable” colon polyps to be removed without a major colon resection
  • Robotic re-do colectomy and proctectomy for colorectal cancer recurrence

About Colorectal Cancer Screening

There are several different types of colorectal screenings available at Surgical Associates of Mansfield. The type of screening your physician recommends will be based on several different factors, including age and whether or not you are at an increased risk of developing this type of cancer.

The following colorectal cancer screening options are available for patients at average risk for colorectal cancer:

  • Colonoscopy

    Recommended every 10 years starting at the age of 50 years old

  • Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT)

    Recommended every year. This is a take-home test that will uncover any hidden blood in the stool. In some cases, blood in the stool may be a sign of cancer. Please keep in mind that this test does not prevent colorectal cancer, but is great for early detection. If the test shows that there is blood in the stool, your doctor will recommend a colonoscopy to determine the cause.

  • Virtual Colonoscopy

    Also referred to as Computed Tomographic Colonography, this test is recommended every 5 years. If cancer polyps are found, the patient will need to undergo a colonoscopy.

  • ColoGuard

    This is a non-invasive stool test for colorectal cancer screening that tests for the presense of cancer cell DNA in the stool. If the test results are positive, the patient will need to undergo a colonoscopy.

For patients at increased or high risk of developing colorectal cancer, it is important that you start screening at an early age. Your doctor will be able to provide you with a more detailed recommendation, based on the following:

  • If you have a personal history of precancerous colon polyps
  • If you have a family history of colorectal cancer or precancerous polyps
  • If you have a personal history of Familial Adenomatous Polyposis or suspected Familial Adenomatous Polyposis
  • If you have a history of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s disease, or chronic ulcerative colitis

If you suspect you are at high risk of developing colorectal cancer, please contact Surgical Associates of Mansfield today. Our colorectal cancer screening options are designed with you in mind. We are committed to your health and doing everything in our medical power to detect cancer at an early stage so that we can begin treatment before your condition worsens. If you have blood in or on your stool, constant stomach pain, cramps, aches, or unexplained weight loss, we encourage you to contact us today and schedule a colorectal cancer screening. These may be signs that you are living with precancerous or cancerous polyps and need treatment right away. Please contact Surgical Associates of Mansfield today with any questions about the risks of colorectal cancer or our screening options.