Colon Cancer

Tillman Medical Group

Gastroenterologists & Internal Medicine located in Vidalia, LA

At Tillman Medical Group in Vidalia, Louisiana, experienced gastroenterologists C. R. Tillman, MD, and Kellen Jex, MD, stay proactive about early colon cancer detection. The gastroenterology team can assess your risk factors for the disease and use the latest diagnostic technology to screen for colon cancer. They also provide counseling services to protect the health of your colon. If you have a family history of colon cancer, schedule a diagnostic screening online or by calling Tillman Medical Group today.

Colon Cancer Q & A

What is colon cancer?

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. It typically starts in the colon (large intestine) or rectum, and is formed in cells that make and release fluids and mucus.

It often forms a polyp, or growth, on the lining of the colon or rectum. Sometimes these polyps are cancerous from the beginning, and sometimes they develop cancerous cells as they grow.

Your lower digestive system consists of both your colon and rectum, which is the area that is responsible for absorbing water and nutrients from the foods you eat, and moving waste out of the body. Once stool forms, it moves from the colon to the rectum, before exiting the body.

What are colon polyps?

Colon polyps are benign or cancerous growths that form on the lining of the colon. They can be tiny or grow to have a diameter of several inches. Sometimes they grow on a stalk, like a mushroom, while other times they’re like small bumps or flat. 

Colon polyps are common, and about one in four adults over the age of 60 have them. They’re more likely for some people, and risk factors include a family history of polyps and eating a high-fat, low-fiber diet. 

Although most polyps don’t create symptoms, some larger ones may lead to blood in your stool.

Who should get screened for colon cancer?

Both men and women should begin getting screened for colon cancer by the age of 50. African Americans should start testing at the age of 45.

If you have certain risk factors, your doctor at Tillman Medical Group may recommend getting screened for colon cancer earlier. Common risk factors including having:

  • A family history of polyps or colon cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Genetic syndrome,= like familial adenomatous polyposis

Since most colon cancers start from precancerous polyps, it’s necessary to have screening tests even when you don’t have symptoms. If the doctor finds polyps, they recommend removing them before they have the opportunity to turn into cancer.

If you’re looking for a gastroenterologist who screens for colon cancer, call Tillman Medical Group to book your appointment or schedule one online.