The colon and the rectum are the end sections of the GI tract. These organs are lined with millions of cells which are frequently replaced. These cells can be subjected to toxins from food, exposed to bacteria, and also, go through wear-and-tear as the body ages. When cells are no longer functioning at their best, they are replaced with new ones. Occasionally, mistakes are made when making these new cells. This causes them to appear abnormal, and they can see growth at uncontrolled rates. These types of cells are known as cancerous cells.
The exact reason these cells are made with mistakes isn’t clear. However, some individuals can be more likely to develop colon cancer. Factors which increase an individual’s likelihood of colon cancer include:
There are several symptoms of colon cancer, and they can vary. They can include:
Other conditions such as Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, diverticulosis, and peptic ulcer disease can have very similar symptoms as colon cancer. Colon cancer can also go years without showing symptoms. Symptoms can also be different depending on where in the colon the tumor is located. Cancers of the right colon can grow to large sizes before they cause symptoms because this area is larger. Generally, right-sided cancers trigger iron deficiency anemia due to a slow loss of blood. Iron deficiency anemia can cause fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath. Cancers of the left colon are likely to cause partial or complete bowel obstructions. This can cause abdominal pain, cramps, constipation, narrowed stool, diarrhea, and bloating. Bright red blood in the stool can also suggest a growth near the end of the rectum or left colon.
Our practice accepts most major insurance plans and most of the smaller insurance plans. If we do not participate with your insurance and your plan allows out of network benefits, our office staff will assist you with the necessary paperwork so you can receive reimbursement directly from your insurance company. If you do not see your insurance listed below, please call the office to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members about your individual coverage.