The U.S. Preventive Service Task Force strongly recommends screening for colorectal cancer for both men and women. Most colorectal cancers begin as a growth in the tissue that lines the inner surface of the colon or rectum, also known as a polyp. Prevention of colon cancer starts by undergoing screening to detect and remove polyps from the colon before they become cancerous. Screening methods to find colon or rectal changes that may lead to cancer include laboratory tests such as fecal occult blood tests (FOBT), which checks for blood in the stool, and imaging tests such as sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy using an endoscope. An endoscope is a long, narrow, flexible tube with a light and video camera. During an endoscopy, this endoscope is used by your surgeon to examine your upper and lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract using a video screen.

An upper GI endoscopy is a special exam that allows your Community Care general surgeon to look directly into your upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). Upper GI endoscopy helps diagnose cancer and can be used to take a biopsy as well, or a sample of tissue taken for analysis, to remove foreign objects or growths.

Your Community Care general surgeon can exam your lower gastrointestinal tract using lower endoscopy. Your entire colon and rectum can be examined (colonoscopy) or just the rectum and sigmoid colon can be examined (sigmoidoscopy). A lower GI endoscopy may be used for screening for colon or rectal cancer. During the endoscopy procedure growths (or polyps) may also be removed and a biopsy of tissue can be taken.

These screening tests can reduce the chance of developing colorectal cancer and, if colorectal cancer is found, the disease can usually be cured if caught early on.


Screening Locations

Community Care Physicians General Surgery and Endoscopy and Surgical Care Suite performs upper GI Endoscopy and Lower GI Endoscopy to find precancerous polyps which can be removed during the test and may find cancer early when it is most treatable.

You can obtain the materials for the High-sensitivity fecal occult blood tests (FOBT) from your Community Care Physicians’ primary care office.

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Diagnosis

If something suspicious is found during your colorectal screening exam, your doctor will recommend additional testing verify there is disease present. Further testing may include blood tests, biopsy, and imaging tests, including ultrasound, or sonography, CT or CAT scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Positron emission tomography (PET) scan. Imaging tests or surgical procedures may be done for a number of reasons, including to help find out whether a suspicious area might be cancerous, to learn how far cancer may have spread, and to help determine if treatment is working. Our specialists are here to answer all of your questions and explain each step and result to you. We can also help connect you with support services if desired.

Treatments

After your colorectal cancer has been diagnosed and staged, your healthcare team will recommend treatment. CCP offers numerous state-of-the-art options for colon cancer and/or rectal cancer treatment — including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation oncology, or a combination of these options. Our goal is to provide you with numerous options for care in a comfortable setting. Our surgeons use the leading technological advances for their treatment. Our medical oncologists provide chemotherapy in separate suites. Our radiation oncologists offer patients the latest in radiation oncology using dynamic targeting technology. We can help you navigate the various cancer treatment options available to you. We encourage you to meet with our physicians to discuss your options and personal care plan in more detail.