Colon and Rectal Cancer Diagnosis Expertise

Piedmont Oncology gives patients access to the personalized care they need. At Piedmont Oncology, establishing an accurate diagnosis is the first step in treating colon and rectal cancer.


Colon and Rectal Cancer Symptoms

Some of the symptoms caused by colon and rectal cancers include changes in your bowel movement, including the presence of red or dark blood or a change in the appearance of your stool. Other symptoms include fatigue from anemia (blood loss), a constant urge to defecate, abdominal pain, change in bowel habits or weight loss. These problems suggest that the cancer may be more advanced, so it is essential to see a specialist quickly.

Doctors sometimes discover colon cancer incidentally when anemia is detected on a blood test or during a rectal exam or stool blood test.


Colonoscopy and Imaging for Diagnostic Testing

  • Colonoscopy
    A specialist performs this test using a long fiber optic tube to visualize the entire length of the large intestine. People undergoing the test must drink a liquid that helps to clean or prepare the colon for the test. Patients are given sedatives during the test and do not recall the examination details. A biopsy can be performed during the procedure if an abnormality is found.

  • CT
    If colorectal cancer is diagnosed, computed tomography is useful to look for evidence that the tumor has spread within the chest and abdomen. When colorectal cancer is suspected, biopsies of the abnormal tissue are performed. Typically this happens during the colonoscopy. The biopsy tissue is studied under the microscope by a pathologist to look for the presence of cancer.

    The analysis of the biopsy tissue by the expert pathologist at Piedmont Oncology shows whether colorectal cancer is present or not and, if present, an estimate of how aggressive the tumor might be. This information is critical before discussing treatment.


Contact a Piedmont Specialist

For an appointment with a Piedmont gastroenterology (GI) or colorectal specialist near you, use our convenient Find a Doctor search.

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