An accurate colon cancer diagnosis for more effective treatment

If you show symptoms of colon cancer or your screening detects problems, your doctor might recommend additional testing for an accurate diagnosis. These tests might include:

  • A colonoscopy to remove polyps or samples of abnormal tissue
  • Blood tests to look for a protein in your blood that is associated with colon cancer
  • A computed tomography (CT) scan to check for cancer outside of your colon
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look for cancer cells in other areas of your body
  • Endorectal ultrasound (EUS) to examine rectal tumors
  • Chest X-ray to check for cancer in your lungs
  • Genetic testing to determine what type of cancer you have

The type of cancer you have and where it has spread in your body can impact what type of treatment you receive.

Types of Colon Cancer

Though all colon cancer starts in the colon, the colon is full of many different types of cells. Your doctor needs to know what type of cell the cancer started in to create an effective treatment plan for you. The types of colon cancer include:

  • Adenocarcinoma, which accounts for 98% of colon cancer, develops in the cells that create mucus in your colon
  • Gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor starts in the cells that line your gastrointestinal tract
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) start in nerve cells of the colon
  • Primary colorectal lymphomas, which occur in less than 1% of colon cancer, begin in the immune cells of your colon
  • Squamous cell carcinoma, the rarest colon cancer, begins in the muscle or blood vessels of the colon

A pathologist (a doctor who specializes in examining tissue and lab samples) can use tissue from your biopsy to determine what type of colon cancer you have, how aggressive it is and even what type of treatments might work best for you.

At Ellis Medicine, we offer personalized colon cancer treatment. Thanks to our partnership with Roswell Park, you have more treatment options than ever, including the latest immunotherapy medicines to destroy cancer cells. Our experts work together to treat both common and rare colon cancer.

Life-saving cancer care, nearby in your community.

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