Colon Cancer Prevention
Excluding some kinds of skin cancer, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Colon cancer treatment is most effective when the cancer is diagnosed in the earliest stages of the disease. Starting at age 45, you should see a gastroenterologist every year for a fecal occult blood test. Every five years, you should have a barium enema and a flexible sigmoidoscopy. Every 10 years you should have a colonoscopy.
Polyps that develop from the inner wall of the large intestine are what cause colon cancer. Regular screenings by a gastroenterologist are important because colon polyps and early colon cancer symptoms are often not detectable. The earlier the diagnosis, the greater the chance for survival.
Under the direction of board certified radiation oncologists, Saint Francis Medical Center provides advanced surgery and sophisticated therapeutic radiation treatments to treat various forms of colon cancer. Treatments for gastrointestinal (GI) cancers, such as rectal cancer and colon cancer, include:
- Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
- Frameless stereotactic radiosurgery to precisely target tumors in various areas of the body
- CyberKnife® VSI™ Robotic RadioSurgery System, which delivers high doses of radiation with pinpoint accuracy