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Indian River Medical Center delivers outstanding Digestive Health Care in Indian River County and throughout the Treasure Coast of Florida. We’re here for you every step of the way.

Preventable. Treatable. Beatable.

Each year more than 140,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, often referred to as colon cancer, in the U.S. and over 50,000 people die from it annually. The disease, however, is largely preventable with regular colon cancer screenings and is treatable with early detection, according to the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

What is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer (also referred to as colon cancer) is a cancer that develops in the colon or the rectum. These parts of the digestive system are also called the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The digestive system processes food for energy and rids the body of solid waste. Colorectal cancer usually develops slowly over a period of many years. Before a cancer develops, it usually begins as a non-cancerous colon polyp. A colon polyp is an abnormal growth of tissue lining the colon or rectum. One specific type of colon polyp, called an adenoma, has the greatest risk of becoming a cancer.

Once colon cancer is found, the cancer must be staged. Staging tells your doctor and you if the cancer has spread from the original site in the colon or rectum to other parts of the body. It is important to know the stage of the disease to plan the best treatment.

Signs & Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is often present in people without symptoms. This is why screening for colon cancer and colorectal cancer is so important. The following signs or symptoms, however, might indicate colorectal cancer:

  • Blood in your stools
  • Narrower than normal stools
  • Unexplained abdominal pain
  • Unexplained change in bowel habits
  • Unexplained anemia
  • Unexplained weight loss

At Indian River Medical Center, our goal is to treat and prevent illness before it has the opportunity to change your life.

Take the quiz to the right to determine your risk for Colon Cancer, and to find out what next steps should be taken.