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Colorectal Cancer

Team Approach, Personalized Treatment Plan

If you’re facing colorectal cancer, your personal health care team at Providence Regional Cancer Center is here for you. This group of talented doctors, nurses and specialists come from a variety of disciplines. They meet every week to evaluate new colorectal cancer cases. It truly is like having your own team of experts – including a pathologist, radiologist, surgeon, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, cancer care coordinator and research coordinator – reviewing your specific case and developing a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan.

For more information, talk to your primary care doctor, or call (509) 474-5490.

How does colorectal cancer start?

Most colon and rectal cancers develop from a single cell in the lining of the bowel. The cells multiply and develop into a non-cancerous (benign) growth, called a “polyp.” As the polyp grows, it might become cancerous, with the potential to invade through the rectal wall or spread to other parts of the body. The change from a benign growth to a cancerous tumor could be associated with changes in the genes that control each cell. These changes can be inherited or occur spontaneously.

Symptoms of colorectal cancer:

  • Change in bowel habits
  • Blood in the stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness and fatigue

I’ve been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, what are my options?

Most cases of rectal cancer are treatable. And, Providence Regional Cancer Center has state-of-the-art facilities and care providers who know the latest treatment options. And, they can treat you right here. Close to home.

Surgery
Providence Regional Cancer Center has the only fellowship-trained colorectal surgeons between Seattle and Minneapolis. 

Radiation therapy
Providence Regional Cancer Center features the Trilogy system, which rotates around the patient to deliver radiation treatments from nearly any angle. It features on-board, real time imaging so the radiation beam can be customized to match the three-dimensional shape of the tumor. This advanced technology means patients experience reduced treatment times, increased accuracy and fewer side effects.

Chemotherapy
The experts at Providence Regional Cancer Center utilize the latest chemotherapies and biotherapies to give each patient a chance for a cure.

Who's at risk for colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer can occur at any age. But, more than 90 percent of cases occur in people 40 and older. The risk increases with age – most people diagnosed are in their 50s or 60s.

Others at risk include:

  • Women with breast, uterine or ovarian cancer
  • Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s)
  • Patients with a family history of polyps or colorectal cancer

Colorectal is the Most Preventable Type of Cancer

Here are the best ways to prevent colorectal cancer.

  • Have a colonoscopy: A colonoscopy is the best way to find – and remove – polyps before they turn into cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends a colonoscopy for men and women at age 50. Ask your primary care doctor if you’re a candidate.
  • Exercise 3-5 times a week.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Eat a high fiber/low fat diet, including 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.