Digestive & Liver Disease Consultants, TX GI Docs, www.txgidocs.com, www.gimed.net, 275 Lantern Bend Dr. Suite 200 Houston, TX 77090 18955 Memorial North Suite 500 Humble, TX 77338 920 Medical Plaza Dr Suite 550 The Woodlands, TX 7738
Gastroenterology, Digestive & Liver Disease Consultants, PA , [email protected], [email protected], Guru N. Reddy, MD, Howard B. Hamat, MD, Ramu Chalasani, MD, Joseph Usta, MD, Scott A. Larson, MD, Gastroenterology, Liver DIsease, Digestive Health, Hepatitis
Do I need to see a colon cancer specialist?
Your physician could recommend several options to prevent
the development of colon cancer or determine if in fact you do have colon
cancer. They most likely will recommend screening tests for healthy patients with
no signs or symptoms for early detection. Encountering colon cancer at its
earliest stage delivers the greatest possibility to be cured. Early screening
has shown to reduce your risk of dying from colon cancer.
It is usually recommended that people get screened for colon
cancer beginning at age 50. If colon cancer runs in your family, many physicians
suggest you start screening even earlier. African-Americans and American Indians should contemplate
cancer screening at age 45 as it is a more prevalent cancer in their
There are several screening options housing their own benefits
and drawbacks. Discuss your options with your physician and decide which tests
are appropriate for you. When a colonoscopy is selected for screening, any polyps
discovered can be removed during the procedure before they turn into cancer.
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If your signs and symptoms point to a diagnosis of colon
cancer, your physician should recommend one or more tests and procedures,
Blood tests. Although they cannot tell you if
you have colon cancer, they can provide clues about your overall health such as
kidney and liver functions.
A colonoscopy. This test utilizes a long,
flexible, slender tube that has a video camera connected to a monitor to view
your colon and rectum. Where areas indicate a level of suspicion, your physician
will pass surgical tools through the tube to take tissue samples (biopsies) for
analysis and remove polyps.
A gastroenterologist may test your blood for a
chemical produced by colon cancers (carcinoembryonic antigen or CEA). The level
of CEA in your blood could assist your physician with delivering your prognosis
or determine if your cancer is responding to treatment.
What are the symptoms of colon cancer?
Contact your physician if you experience any symptoms of
colorectal cancer, like:
Stomach pain or problems with gas or bloating
from the rectum or stools that look black
Constant tiredness (fatigue)
A change in bowel habits
Constant or frequent diarrhea or constipation
Unexplained weight loss
In most cases, people who have these symptoms do not have
cancer. Most people in the early stages of colon cancer will experience no
symptoms. Once symptoms appear, they can vary dependening upon the cancer's
size and location in your large intestine.
When colorectal cancer turns out to be the cause of symptoms
experienced, it is often because the cancer has grown or spread. That is why
it’s best to be tested early - before experiencing any symptoms. Colorectal
cancer found through screening on people not presenting symptoms – is usually
easier to treat. Contact your physician for screening immediately if you
experience any signs or symptoms of the disease.
Digestive & Liver Disease Consultants, PA
275 Lantern Bend Dr. Suite 200 Houston, TX 77090 18955 Memorial North Suite 500 Humble, TX 77338
920 Medical Plaza Dr. Suite 550 The Woodlands, TX 77380