What To Know About Colorectal Cancer - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

What To Know About Colorectal Cancer

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Many of us dread when the time comes to get a colonoscopy, but it's more beneficial than you might think.

Not only does the procedure help detect polyps in the colon, but also in the Rectum.

<<Doctors call it Colorectal Cancer, it's a collective term used for cancer in either the colon or rectum.

Tumors or polyps that arise in the Colon are called Colon Cancers, and those that arise in the rectum are called Rectal Cancers.

"We use them interchangeably because most of the treatment patterns are very similar for the two cancers, including the chemotherapy agents that are used," Sanford Cancer Doctor, Vijay Chaudhary said.

Collectively Colorectal Cancer is the second largest cause of cancer related death in the nation, but the number of patients diagnosed with rectal cancer is far lower than those diagnosed with colon cancer.

"So probably you could say you know for every five cases of colon cancer that you diagnose, there are about two cases of rectal cancer," Chaudhary said.

Dean Unterseher was diagnosed with Rectal Cancer in 2011, he didn't have any noticeable symptoms, but he just didn't feel like himself.

"I knew for about a year before I went in that there was something wrong, I just didn't feel right and you know a person should go in and get checked right away instead of waiting but I'm stubborn about going to Doctors I guess," Dean Unterseher said.

Dr. Chaudhary says for most people it's recommended to get a Colonoscopy once you turn 50, unless you have family history of either Colon or Rectal Cancer.

"Especially in first degree relatives who were diagnosed younger than 50, they should undergo a colonoscopy at least ten years earlier than the youngest case diagnosed in the family, or starting at age 40," Chaudhary said.

After going through radiation and chemotherapy, today Unterseher is cancer free.

He says family and friends helped him get through the treatments, especially his grand daughters.

"I've got two grand daughters so that definitely makes a guy want to get through it," Unterseher said.>>

Some symptoms of Colorectal Cancer include abdominal pain, sudden weight loss, dark stools and loss of appetite.

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