Colorectal Cancer Specialist

Southwest Gastroenterology

Gastroenterologist located in Goodyear, AZ

If you’ve seen changes in your stool or have unexplained fatigue or sudden weight loss, these could be signs of colorectal cancer. At Southwest Gastroenterology in Goodyear, Arizona, patients can get the qualified care they need to treat a wide range of problems affecting the digestive system. If you’re concerned about your symptoms, book an appointment today using the online scheduling system.

Colorectal Cancer Q & A

What is colorectal cancer?

Cancer occurs when cells in the body begin to multiply and spread prolifically. Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the colon or rectum. Since colon cancer and rectal cancer share many of the same symptoms, they’re often grouped together and called colorectal cancer.

What causes colorectal cancer?

It’s not entirely clear what causes colorectal cancer, as there can be several different factors that increase your chances of developing it. Some common causes are:

    • Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC): People with HNPCC, which is also called Lynch syndrome, tend to develop colon cancer as adults.

  • Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP): This condition causes excessive polyps to develop in the colon and rectum, which increases colon cancer risk.

  • Diet: Some studies suggest that eating habits could be associated with colon cancer risk, especially if your diet is low in fiber and high in fat.
  • Genetics: If you have a family history of colon cancer or certain genetic variations, your risk of colon cancer might increase. 

Other risk factors linked to colon or rectal cancer are a sedentary lifestyle, being overweight, and having diabetes. Some people who have inflammatory intestinal conditions might also have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.

What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?

If you have colorectal cancer, you might not experience any symptoms. If you do, they may include:

  • Blood in your stool
  • Diarrhea and constipation
  • A feeling of needing to empty the bowels but not being able to
  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Sudden weight loss

Colorectal cancer can sometimes cause bleeding in the digestive tract. That can cause blood loss and a low red blood cell count, which is often one of the first signs that a person may have colorectal cancer.

How is colorectal cancer treated?

Treatment for colorectal cancer depends on a variety of factors, including how far along it has progressed. Some common treatment methods are:

Polyp removal

If cancer is in the early stages, your physician can often remove a polyp during a routine colonoscopy.

Colectomy

In more advanced stages of cancer, your surgeon may remove the part of your colon affected by the cancer.

Drug therapy

Later stages of colorectal cancer are treatable with certain drugs, which may include chemotherapy or immunotherapy.

If you’re concerned about your symptoms, schedule a consultation with one of the expert physicians at Southwest Gastroenterology. Use the easy online scheduling tool to book your appointment today.