Colon Cancer in Northwest Arkansas

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What is colon cancer?

The colon (or large intestine) is the bottom portion of the intestinal system, where the body extracts water and salt from stool. Colon and rectal cancer occurs when tumorous growths form in the colon or rectum. This cancer often begins as benign growths referred to as polyps. Polyps are small groupings of cells that can ultimately turn into colon tumors. Colon cancer is more common in older adults and is the second most common cancer detected in both females and males jointly.

It is essential to obtain a colonoscopy starting at age 45 and then as suggested by your gastroenterologist. Call a GI Alliance of Arkansas location near you to schedule a colorectal cancer screening in Northwest Arkansas.


Should you experience early signs or symptoms of colon and rectal cancer, prompt attention and treatment could lead to a more positive outcome. If you experience any of the following symptoms persistently, please request a consultation with one of our Northwest Arkansas GI doctors promptly:

  • Persistent abdominal soreness, like cramps, flatulence, or pain
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Pain throughout bowel movements
  • A feeling that your bowel does not empty completely
  • A sudden change in bowel habits, including diarrhea, constipation, or an alteration in stool texture
  • Persistent urges to defecate
  • Any of these symptoms, coupled with weakness and fatigue

Some of the factors that might put you at greater risk for colon and rectal cancer are:

  • Age: Colorectal cancer is usually diagnosed in patients who are older than 50; however, the rates of colon and rectal cancer in younger individuals have been growing.
  • Descent: Individuals of African-American heritage possess an increased risk of colon and rectal cancer compared to other races.
  • Family history: If you or a relative has had colorectal cancer or colon tumors, you have a greater risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Inflammatory intestinal afflictions: Chronic conditions, like Crohn's disease and colitis, can raise your risk of colorectal cancer.
  • “Standard Western Diet”: Colorectal cancer has been linked with a high-fat, high-calorie, and low-fiber diet.

Survival rates for cancer are divided into types and subject to the degree it has spread when its diagnosed. Localized colorectal cancer is cancer that is strictly in the colon or rectum. Regional colon cancer is when the disease moves to the nearby tissues and body parts, and distant is when the disease has circulated to distant sections of the body.

  • Localized colon cancer: 90% 5-year survival rate
  • Regional colon cancer: 71% 5-year survival rate
  • Distant colon cancer: 14% 5-year survival rate

If the cancer is diagnosed early and only presents in a few cancerous growths, then the tumors can be extracted, resulting in remarkably elevated rates of survival.

We suggest receiving a colonoscopy at the time you are 45 years old to detect cancer early on. If colorectal cancer is diagnosed in your family, then we suggest obtaining a screening for colorectal cancer at a GI Alliance of Arkansas location near you as soon as you can.

Treatment for colorectal cancer in Northwest Arkansas patients can vary based on the spread of the disease. Each case is different, but the greatest thing you can do for colorectal cancer is to prevent it.


Colorectal cancer is a unique form of cancer since it is preventable. Colon cancer first appears in the form of tumors. These growths can be eliminated, reducing your danger of dying from cancer by 90%. Your personal risk and prevention steps can be determined at a colorectal cancer screening with your GI doctor.

Stage 0 Colon Cancer Treatment

Stage 0 colon cancer is when colorectal cancer has not spread beyond the interior lining of the colon. If the polyp is small enough, it can generally be extracted with a colonoscope during the course of a colonoscopy.

Stage I Colon Cancer Treatment

If the polyp is thoroughly extracted during a colonoscopy with no cancerous tissues at the edges, no continued therapy may be necessary. If the extracted growth does have cancerous cells at the edges, further extraction might be necessary to remove the residual cancerous tissue. For cancers not in a polyp, a partial colectomy could be necessary to remove the section of the colon and neighboring lymph nodes that are cancerous.

Stage II Colon Cancer Treatment

Typically, in stage 2, surgery is conducted to excise the area of the colon or adjacent lymph nodes affected by cancer. In some cases, a specialist may also recommend adjuvant chemotherapy (chemo following surgery).

Stage III Colon Cancer Treatment

A partial colectomy and then adjuvant chemotherapy is the typical treatment approach for this type of colorectal cancer.

Stage IV Colon Cancer Treatment

This phase of cancer normally means that the disease has spread to other tissues or organs. Surgery may be necessary to remove portions of the cancer identified in the colon and different organs. Chemotherapy may also be recommended. Chemotherapy at this stage is typically administered prior to and following surgery.

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What causes colorectal cancer?

While the specific reason behind colorectal cancer is not well understood, it arises when cell mutations in the lining of the rectum or colon propagate beyond control, generating a growth or tumor. There are certain circumstances, however, that might increase the chance of developing the disease. These can include lifestyle factors, like tobacco and alcohol use, inadequate amounts of physical activity, and poor nutrition, in addition to having a hereditary or familial predisposition.

How is colon cancer diagnosed?

Colon and rectal cancer is typically detected and diagnosed when having a screening for the disease. A colonoscopy exam is the most common, precise, and comprehensive test for finding colon cancer. Other testing, like virtual colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, fecal tests, and double-contrast barium enema, may also be used during an examination for colorectal cancer. Your GI Alliance of Arkansas provider can advise you on the optimal method of screening and diagnosis to address your individual needs.

How rapidly does colorectal cancer progress?

Colorectal cancer tends to be slow-growing in many cases. The disease typically starts as a noncancerous polyp in the large intestine or rectum that turns cancerous as time goes on. Experiencing symptoms when polyps are present is uncommon, so regular colorectal cancer screenings are vital to catching this type of cancer as soon as possible.

Is colon cancer preventable?

Colon cancer can often be avoided with regular colorectal cancer tests. Because most colon cancers develop as premalignant polyps (growths), getting screened as advised by your medical provider can help decrease your chances of developing this condition. Our gastroenterologists in Northwest Arkansas can provide additional advice on how to lower your risk for colorectal cancer during your consultation.

If you or a family member suspects or has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, know that experienced care is available. GI Alliance of Arkansas is a doctor-led network of gastroenterologists, and every one of our board-certified gastroenterologists strives to put the comfort and safety of our patients first. To learn additional information about colorectal cancer and how it might be detected and avoided, or to get treatment for colorectal cancer in Northwest Arkansas, please get in touch with our team today.

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