Colon & Rectal Cancers

Colon & Rectal Cancers

Cancers that begin in the lower part of your digestive tract, either in the colon or in the rectum, show many commonalities. Often known as colorectal cancer, these conditions appear when cells in the body grow out of control. Get the expert care you need for colon cancer or rectal cancer at OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center in Oklahoma City.

Comprehensive Care for Gastrointestinal Cancers

When you choose Stephenson Cancer Center, Oklahoma’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Cancer Center, you’ll find comprehensive, multidisciplinary, team-based diagnosis and treatment for all forms of colorectal cancer, from precancerous lesions to complex malignancies. You and your cancer doctor work with highly trained oncologists, cancer surgeons and other knowledgeable cancer specialists to develop an individualized treatment plan to meet your needs.

Colon & Rectal Cancer Symptoms

Because early detection of colorectal and gastrointestinal cancers leads to better treatment and recovery, you need to know your risk factors and the early warning signs. Tell your doctor about your family history with colorectal cancer and discuss how often you should receive screenings. Remain alert for symptoms of colon and rectal cancer, including:

  • Changes in bowel habits, diarrhea, constipation
  • Blood in stool
  • Persistent feeling of fullness in the abdomen
  • Pain and bloating in the abdomen
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Feeling that the bowel doesn’t completely empty
  • Fatigue

Colonoscopy for Early Cancer Screening

These symptoms also may indicate other problems, so talk with your doctor about the need for a colorectal screening (colonoscopy). During this exam, doctors look for small, potentially cancerous growths called polyps. Although most polyps don’t cause problems, you need a screening test so your doctor can develop an accurate diagnosis.

Colorectal Cancer Services & Treatments

At Stephenson Cancer Center, you benefit from the extensive resources of a National Cancer Institute-Designated cancer center, including the latest imaging technologies to assist in developing an accurate diagnosis, as well as a full spectrum of medical treatments:

Cancer Navigation Services

Throughout your journey at Stephenson Cancer Center, your care team includes a nurse navigator, a specially trained registered nurse (RN) who acts as your personal advocate and adds an extra layer of support. Learn more about cancer navigation services.

Supportive Care Services

You also gain access to extensive supportive care services, such as genetic counseling, nutritional therapy, support groups, palliative care, cancer education workshops, and symptom and pain management. And you’ll find all your cancer-related services in a bright, welcoming, up-to-date facility close to home and designed for your comfort and convenience.

Clinical Trials for Advanced Treatment

In Stephenson Cancer Center’s comprehensive program, you also may qualify to participate in cancer clinical trials as part of the National Cancer Institute’s National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN), giving you early access to today’s newest drugs and potential breakthrough treatments before they become widely available.

Your Colon & Rectal Cancer Care Team

At Stephenson Cancer Center, you join a team of highly experienced colorectal cancer experts who collaborate with a variety of medical specialists, including medical oncologists, colon-rectal cancer surgeons, radiation oncologists and gastroenterologists. Even before your first appointment, your team of more than 30 physicians conducts a thorough review and evaluation of your medical history and current health concerns as they work together to develop an accurate diagnosis and an individualized treatment plan tailored to your specific situation.

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