Preparing patients, family and friends for the journey
Welcome to SurvivorNet’s Colon Cancer Digital Prescription.
Dr. Heather Yeo
If patients are being screened, most colorectal cancers can actually be prevented, according to SurvivorNet adviser and colorectal surgeon Dr. Heather Yeo.
Learn about why common colon cancer myths are false. Anal sex does not cause colon cancer. Women get colon cancer. You can sit after cool cancer surgery.
Colon cancer can be prevented in a huge number of cases ... that's why screening is so important.
As #ColonCancerAwarenessMonth comes to a close, we'd like to take this opportunity to remind the SurvivorNet family just how important colon cancer screeni
Dr. Zuri Murrell
The United States has the highest colon cancer rate in the world, and Dr. Zuri Murrell of Cedars-Sinai says this is at least partly due to diet.
Current guidelines call for colon cancer screening to begin at age 45, but people who are at high risk are often advised to begin screening earlier.
Dr. Paul Oberstein
Colon cancer forms from polyps, which are small growths located in the most superficial layer of the colon wall.
During a colonoscopy, doctors are looking for polyps which can eventually grow into cancer, according to colorectal surgeon Dr. Zuri Murrell.
When doctors screen for polyps, they are looking for growths in the colon that have the potential to grow into cancer.
Having an occasional drink has been touted as healthy, but colorectal surgeon Dr. Heather Yeo says there is still an alcohol and cancer link to consider.
Dr. Ophira Ginsburg
About 5% to10% of colorectal cancers are caused by an inherited genetic mutation. Lynch Syndrome and FAP are two major subtypes of hereditary colon cancer.
Although most colon cancer affects people with no genetic predisposition to it, a small amount of people do suffer from hereditary colon cancer.
Probiotics are not going to prevent colon cancer, but they can help your colon work better and function in the way it was intended to function.
Colorectal cancer is almost completely preventable, but it's still the third most common cause of cancer related deaths in the U.S.
Coffee is meant to be taken from the top down, says colorectal surgeon Dr. Heather Yeo, who explains why a coffee enema could actually be dangerous.
A change in bowel habits is a common indicator of colon cancer; other symptoms like unintentional weight loss can be more difficult to identify.
The number one job of the colon is to reabsorb water, while the rectum's job is to hold waste until a socially appropriate time to have a bowel movement.
Many people feel uncomfortable talking about problems relating to their GI tract, but it's enormously important to tell you doctor about unusual symptoms.
If an abnormal mass or polyp is detected during a colonoscopy, the next step is to send a piece of that specimen for a biopsy; this will help with staging.
Things like keeping notes of doctor recommendations and getting several opinions can make a colon cancer diagnosis a bit more manageable.
Early stage colorectal cancer has very good survival rates, but it is important to obtain information about all treatment options before choosing a route.
The stage of colon cancer depends on how deep in the colon wall the tumor is located, and whether it has spread to lymph nodes or other organs.
Colon cancer is still considered curable when it is in stages one through three, as long as the cancer has not spread out of the local area.
Stage one colon cancer means a tumor is on the most superficial levels of the colon wall.
Chemotherapy for colon cancer is generally well-tolerated; our experts say many patients can even keep working around their treatment schedule.
Chemotherapy is sometimes given before colon cancer surgery if the tumor is very large or if there is metastatic disease outside of the colon.
Generally, surgery is recommended for people with stage one, two and three colon cancer -- though stage two and three may add chemotherapy as well.
Dr. Daniel Labow
Whether a patient is given a left colectomy, right colectomy, sigmoid colectomy, or subtotal colectomy will depend on where the tumor is located.
Multidisciplinary cancer centers may be able to provide guidance when it comes to finding a colon surgeon who suits your personal needs.
Because of surgical advancements, doctors are often able to preserve bowel function after surgery for colorectal cancer.
Robotic surgery is one way to conduct minimally invasive surgery for colon cancer. It decreases some of the risks associated with surgery.
Robotic surgery is a more expensive surgery technique, but it is not necessarily better for treating colon cancer.
One of the three main surgical options for colon cancer.
Biomarkers help doctors to understand where different genetic mutations are, which can lead to more targeted therapies.
For those who don't respond to standard colon cancer therapies, participating in a clinical trial may offer cutting-edge treatment.
Not everybody can get to a designated comprehensive cancer center, but the data is clear that these centers are extremely helpful.
Advanced stages of colorectal cancer are not always curable. But because there are so many treatment options available, they can often be managed.
Stage four colon cancer, though harder to manage, can be cured in certain cases, according to SurvivorNet adviser and colorectal surgeon Dr. Heather Yeo.
Stage four colon cancer is often managed with chemotherapy alone or, in select cases, a combination of chemotherapy and surgery.
With a colostomy, bowel movements will go into a bag instead of out the anus. This procedure is rarely used for colon cancer.
In most cases the treatment for metastatic colon cancer is chemotherapy.
When a person with colon cancer has a large bowel obstruction, that usually indicates the cancer is aggressive and treating it is a surgical emergency
There's debate about how to treat colon cancer when it spreads to the liver. Dr. Heather Yeo says surgery is recommended when the spread is limited.
After undergoing treatment for colorectal cancer, there are some guidelines for how to monitor the disease and what lifestyle changes you may have to make.
After general colorectal surgery, a person's sex life is usually unaffected, but with surgery for rectal cancer specifically, there are certain risks.
For the first two years after colon cancer surgery, doctors will want to perform a blood test every three months and an annual colonoscopy.
The patients who tend to do well with cancer are the one's who express gratitude, according to colorectal surgeon Dr. Zuri Murrell.
While there may not be a direct link between stress and cancer, stress affects the immune system which can decrease the body's ability to fight cancer.
Dave Dubin inherited Lynch Syndrome from his father. Here's how he handled telling his kids about the dangerous genetic mutation.
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