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Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital 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.

Colon Cancer is: Preventable. Treatable. Beatable.

According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related death (combined men and women) in the United States.  The lifetime risk of colon cancer is about 1 in 23.  Most patients diagnosed with colon cancer have no family history of colon cancer and many have no symptoms prior to diagnosis.  The good news is that colon cancer is largely preventable with regular colon cancer screening and is treatable with early detection.

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 pre-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.  These pre-cancerous colon polyps are removed at the time of colonoscopy to prevent the development of colorectal cancer.

What Are Some Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer?

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Diets that are high in red meat
  • Older age
  • History of precancerous colon polyps
  • Family history of colorectal cancer or precancerous colon polyps
  • Inflammatory Bowel disease

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
  • Persistently narrower than normal stools
  • Unexplained abdominal pain
  • Unexplained change in bowel habits
  • Unexplained anemia
  • Unexplained weight loss

At Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital, 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.