Each year, almost 100,000 men and women are diagnosed with colon cancer in the United States. It’s also the nation’s third leading cause of cancer death. At Gwinnett Digestive Clinic, PC in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Indran Indrakrishnan, MD, understands the need for screening and early intervention. Dr. Indrakrishnan and his team are dedicated to helping their patients stay one step ahead of colon cancer. To learn more, call or use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.
Colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the United States. Your colon, which is also known as your large intestine, travels up, across, and down your abdomen, ending at your rectum. On average, the human colon measures 5 feet, and its primary responsibility is to absorb salt and moisture from your food in order to form stool, which it pushes through until it exits your rectum.
Colon cancer typically starts out as polyps that are found in the lining of your colon, though not all polyps will turn into cancer. If a polyp is cancerous, the cancer can grow into the wall of your colon. Once inside, the cancerous cells can reach your lymph vessels or blood vessels, allowing them to travel farther afield to your nearby lymph nodes. If left unchecked, your lymph nodes can spread the cancer to distant parts of your body.
Like all cancers, the exact cause of colon cancer is unknown, but researchers have found some links that may put you more at risk of developing colon cancer, including:
While some of these factors are beyond your control, such as age and genetics, there are steps you can take to lower your risk of getting colon cancer, such as quitting smoking, losing weight, and changing your diet.
Colon cancer rarely shows any outward symptoms in its early stages, which is where a gastroenterologist comes in. Dr. Indrakrishnan offers a valuable screening procedure called a colonoscopy, which allows Dr. Indrakrishnan to take a close look inside your colon in order to identify and remove any suspicious polyps.
Dr. Indrakrishnan will examine any polyps he removes in order to determine whether precancerous or cancerous cells are present. Depending on the results, Dr. Indrakrishnan will sit down with you and discuss any next steps.
For valuable screening and early intervention for colon cancer, call Gwinnett Digestive Clinic, PC or use the online scheduler.