The third most common form of cancer in America, colon cancer and rectal cancer, is a serious condition that requires prompt and in-depth treatment. Jessica Taff, MD, of Coastal Hematology & Oncology Center is experienced in diagnosing and treating colon cancer, and she has helped many in the communities of Toms River and Forked River, New Jersey, survive colorectal cancer and go on to live healthy and fulfilling lives. Schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Taff today, online or over the phone.
Your colon is the last portion of your digestive tract before waste enters your rectum. It works to remove fluid and certain nutrients from your food before waste is passed from your body.
Colon cancer develops when cells in your colon begin to rapidly multiply. Most cases of colon cancer begin with polyps, tiny noncancerous growths in the lining of your large intestine.
Rectal cancer develops in your rectum, where solid waste is stored prior to defecation. Colon and rectal cancers are often combined under the umbrella of colorectal cancer, although these are two distinct types of cancer.
As with all health issues, paying close attention to the messages your body sends is an important part of early cancer detection. Some of the signs and symptoms of colon cancer include:
Not all cases of colon cancer present symptoms in the early stages, which is why screening is so important.
Colon cancer is most common in men and women over the age of 50, although it can develop in both women and men at an earlier age. If you have a family history of colon cancer, you should be screened earlier in life.
It’s also important to come in for screening if you notice any changes in your digestive health. Early detection is key to successful treatment, so don’t allow symptoms to persist without professional evaluation.
A colonoscopy is a great way to search for signs of tissue abnormalities. The process involves using a long, flexible tube equipped with a light and camera to gather real-time imaging of the interior of your colon. If Dr. Taff notes areas of concern, she will request a biopsy, or gathering a small tissue sample, during the procedure.
If you have polyps, Dr. Taff may recommend removing those growths to prevent them from developing into cancer. Polyps can be removed during your colonoscopy or through a minimally invasive surgical procedure.
Learn more about diagnostic and treatment services for colon cancer during a face-to-face consultation with Dr. Taff. Scheduling takes just moments online, or you are always welcome to call or stop by the office to schedule your visit.