Dr. Basseri is committed to offering patients in Los Angeles, CA, the most advanced treatment options for colon cancer, from the earliest stages to the most advanced stages, so men and women can make informed decisions about their health and feel confident in the care they receive.

request an appointment

Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., causing about 50,000 deaths each year. More than 140,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer each year, making it the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S.

What symptoms does colon cancer cause?

In its very early stages, colon cancer may cause few if any symptoms, which is why having a colonoscopy is so important to maintaining your health and diagnosing cancer when it’s most treatable. As colon cancer progresses, it can cause symptoms such as:

  • blood in the stool
  • rectal bleeding
  • diarrhea, constipation or other changes in bowel habits
  • changes in the consistency of your stool
  • persistent cramps, bloating or abdominal pain
  • unexplained weight loss
  • fatigue
  • weakness

Symptoms can vary, depending on where the tumor is located as well as its size.

How is colon cancer diagnosed?

Colonoscopy is the gold standard for diagnosing colonoscopy. The American Cancer Society recommends colon cancer screening begin at age 50 or earlier if you have a family history of the disease or certain risk factors that make you more likely to develop colon cancer.

How is colon cancer treated?

In early stages when the cancer is small and restricted to one or more small polyps, it may be completely removed during a colonoscopy. Larger polyps may be removed through an endoscopic procedure called a resection or laparoscopically using very small incisions. In invasive cancer, surgery will be needed to remove a portion of your colon along with the tumor. Radiation or chemotherapy (or both) may also be recommended following surgery. Radiation may also be used prior to surgery to reduce the size of very large tumors. Targeted drug therapy may also be effective.

How is colon cancer screening performed?

Colon cancer screening relies on a simple, minimally-invasive procedure called colonoscopy to look inside the colon for polyps, fleshy growths which are sometimes an indication of early colon cancer, and other abnormal signs. When a polyp is located, it can be removed during the colonoscopy procedure and sent to a lab where it can be more completely evaluated for the presence of cancer cells. Colon cancer is performed under sedation on an outpatient basis and typically takes less than a half hour to perform.

What kind of preparation is required for a colonoscopy?

In order to view your colon, it needs to be clear of fecal matter. The day before your colonoscopy, you’ll need to take a medication that will cause you to empty your bowel so it will be empty for your procedure. You’ll also be restricted to clear liquids during the preparation period, and you’ll need to fast for about 12 hours prior to your procedure.

What happens once the colonoscopy is complete?

Once your procedure is over, you’ll go to a recovery area for a brief period of time while the sedation wears off before being discharged to go home. You’ll be able to eat normally, but because you will have been sedated for the procedure, you’ll need someone to drive you home. If polyps were removed, you may have some very mild spotting for a brief period of time. You may be a little tired from the sedation, but you’ll be able to return to work the next day.

Who should be screened for colon cancer?

The American Cancer Society says everyone should be screened for colon cancer beginning at age 50 and every 10 years thereafter. People with risk factors for colon cancer should be screened earlier and more often, beginning at age 40 and every five years thereafter.