David Magner, MD, FACS, FASCRS
Board-Certified Colorectal Surgeon located in Beverly Hills, CA
Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in men and women in the United States. If left unchecked, colon cancer will spread outside of the colon and lead to death. David Magner, MD, FACS, FASCRS of Beverly Hills, California utilizes his skills to catch this disease in its early stages and treat is with the most innovative surgical approaches to give his patients the highest chance for cure and living well into the golden years. Call Dr. Magner’s office or book online to set up an appointment today.
Colon Cancer Q & A
What is colon cancer?
Colon cancer is a life-threatening illness that involves malignant growths of abnormal cancer cells in your large intestine or colon. Most cases of colon cancer start as tiny, benign clusters of cells called adenomatous polyps.
You may have polyps without even knowing it because they can be small and produce few if any, symptoms. That's why it’s imperative to get preventive screenings on a regular basis. When detected early, it’s easy to remove any abnormal tissue from the colon before it turns into cancer.
What are the symptoms of colon cancer?
Symptoms of colon cancer may include:
- Changes in bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation that last over four weeks
- Finding blood in your stool
- Narrowing of the caliber of your stool
- Passing tarry or maroon colored stool
- Persistent abdominal pain or cramping
- Feeling like your bowel doesn’t empty completely
- Weakness, fatigue, or unexplained weight loss
People with polyps or early-stage colon cancer may experience no symptoms at all. Regular screenings are crucial to catch this disease early.
What causes colon cancer?
It’s unclear what causes most cases of colon cancer. However, doctors point out numerous risk factors that may increase your chances of developing it. Risks for colon cancer include:
- Older age
- Personal history of colon cancer or polyps
- Inflammatory intestinal diseases such as Crohn’s
- Family history of colon cancer
- A low-fiber, high-fat diet
- Obesity and lack of exercise
- Smoking and heavy alcohol use
Who gets colon cancer?
Colon cancer is one of the leading killers of men and women in the United States, being the third most common killer of women and second for men. It’s also the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women.
Most adults diagnosed with colon cancer are over the age of 50, although it can also occur in younger people.
How does a colorectal surgeon diagnose cancer?
Early detection is critical to help you overcome colon cancer and continue to live a healthy, productive life. For this reason, doctors recommend that you should get screening tests even if you don’t have signs or symptoms of colon cancer.
If you have an average risk for colon cancer, you should consider screening starting at age 50. Men and women who fall into a higher-risk category should begin getting screenings at age 45.
Diagnostic screening tests may include colonoscopies to search for abnormal tissue and polyps and blood tests.