According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States. However, proper screening and early diagnosis can lead to improved treatment outcomes.
Learn about the latest news in preventing colon cancer and how to treat colon cancer.
Almost all colon cancer starts in glands in the lining of the colon and rectum. Although the exact cause of colon cancer is uncertain, many begin as benign polyps, which develop slowly into cancer. Learn about colon polyps.
Diagnosis of Colorectal Cancer
With proper screening, colorectal cancer can be detected before symptoms develop, when it is most curable.
A fecal occult blood test (FOBT) may detect small amounts of blood in the stool, which could suggest colon cancer. However, this test is often negative in patients with colon cancer. For this reason, an FOBT must be done along with imaging tests to screen and potentially diagnose colorectal cancer.
Tests include colonoscopy, which views the entire colon and is the best screening test for colon cancer, and sigmoidoscopy. Your doctor may also do blood tests, including a complete blood count (CBC) and liver function tests.