Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, but it is very treatable—and even preventable—with early diagnosis and regular screenings. Unfortunately, myths about the disease often prevent people from getting the care they need. Don’t let misinformation about colon cancer compromise your health. Schedule a screening with a physician at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center , and keep these facts behind common colon cancer myths in mind.
Myth: You Only Need To Be Screened if You Have Symptoms
Colon cancer screening should be part of everyone’s preventative healthcare regime. Most people should start having screenings by age 50, but your doctor may recommend earlier screenings if you have a family history of the disease. When you get screened for colon cancer, your doctor can find the disease in its early stages, when it is most treatable, or may find pre-cancerous polyps that can be removed, preventing cancer from ever developing.
Myth: I Would Know if I Had Colon Cancer
Colon cancer often doesn’t cause any symptoms at all when it is in its early stages. Pre-cancerous polyps are also asymptomatic. Colon cancer may cause a change in bowel movements, abdominal distension, unexplained weight loss, and rectal bleeding, however, these symptoms usually appear when the disease has progressed. Colon cancer could be present in your body long before you experience your first symptom.
Myth: Colon Cancer Can’t Be Treated
Colon cancer is a very treatable type of cancer, especially when it is caught in early stages. Because colon cancer tends to grow slowly, many patients can be treated with surgery to remove the affected part of the colon. When the disease has progressed, chemotherapy and other treatments may be combined with surgery. Colon cancer screenings and early diagnoses have helped the rate of deaths from the disease decline.
Don’t put off life-saving colon cancer screenings. Talk to your Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center physician about your needs for cancer screening based on your health history. You can learn more about all of our Las Vegas hospital services, including stroke care, our maternity hospital , and orthopedic surgery, by calling (702) 880-2700.
Although it can be difficult to come to terms with a diagnosis of colorectal cancer, patients may find that they regain a sense of control as they explore their treatment options. At Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center, one of those treatment options includes robot-assisted surgery with our sophisticated da Vinci Surgical System. To find out if robotic surgery might be appropriate for them, colorectal cancer patients can consult a physician at our hospital and watch the video featured here.
Robot-assisted surgeries may be used for minimally invasive procedures, which may benefit patients by accelerating the recovery time and reducing the risk of complications. The use of robot-assisted surgeries has been increasing in recent years, yet the technology was actually developed in 1985, when the U.S. military was exploring ways of allowing surgeons to remotely operate on injured soldiers. The way the technology is currently used; however, is vastly different. The surgeon does not operate from a remote location. He or she is in the same operating suite with the patient throughout the procedure. As the surgeon in this video describes, the robotic system allows the surgeon to operate with very precise movements through the use of wristed instruments. It also provides better visualization than a traditional surgery would, since the system is equipped with high definition magnification and 3D visualization.
Colorectal Cancer Surgery
With the da Vinci Surgical System, surgeons can perform minimally invasive colectomies, which are colon resection surgeries. This surgery involves the removal of part or all of the colon, or large intestine. If the colorectal cancer is still in its early stages, only a small part of the colon may need to be removed. For advanced cancers, it’s likely that more of the large intestine will be removed. Another procedure that may be performed with robotic technology is a proctectomy, or rectum resection surgery. The rectum is the last six inches of the large intestine. The surgery involves removing the rectum and possibly the anal opening.
At Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center , we combine a compassionate, personalized approach to cancer care with the most advanced technology available. The highly trained surgeons at our community hospital in Las Vegas can perform a range of robot-assisted surgeries, including colectomy and proctectomy. To request a referral to a surgeon or other specialist, Las Vegas residents can reach our hospital at (702) 880-2100.