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Colon Cancer

Last Updated 2/21/2009 5:52:01 PM


Colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. Sometimes it is called colon cancer, for short.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, but it doesn't have to be. If everybody age 50 or older had regular screening tests, at least one-third of deaths from this cancer could be avoided. So if you are 50 or older, start screening now.

Learn how El Camino Hospital is leading the Bay Area in endoscopy.

El Camino Hospital has some of the latest technologies that help physicians diagnose and treat early colon cancer. Other tests include:

Abdominal Ultrasound

An abdominal ultrasound is a noninvasive (the skin is not pierced) procedure used to assess the organs and structures within the abdomen, such as the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, bile ducts, spleen, and abdominal aorta. Ultrasound technology allows quick visualization of the abdominal organs and structures from outside the body. Ultrasound may also be used to assess blood flow to abdominal organs.


Abdominal X-rays

X-rays use invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs on film. Standard x-rays are performed for many reasons, including diagnosing tumors or bone injuries. X-rays are made by using external radiation to produce images of the body, its organs, and other internal structures for diagnostic purposes.


Barium Enema

A barium enema is a radiographic (x-ray) examination of the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The large intestine, including the rectum, is made visible on x-ray film by filling the colon with a liquid suspension called barium. X-rays use invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs on film.

Barium Swallow

A barium swallow is a radiographic (x-ray) examination of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, specifically the pharynx (back of mouth and throat) and the esophagus (hollow tube of muscle extending from below the tongue to the stomach). The pharynx and esophagus are made visible on x-ray film by a liquid suspension called barium.

Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that allows the physician to examine the entire length of the large intestine. Colonoscopy can assist in identifying problems with the colon, such as early signs of cancer, inflamed tissue, ulcers, and bleeding. Colonoscopy is also used to screen for colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the US.


Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) Scan of the Abdomen

Computed tomography (CT or CAT scan) is a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than standard x-rays. CT scans may also minimize exposure to radiation.


Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) Scan of the Liver and Biliary Tract

What is a CT or CAT scan of the liver and biliary tract? Computed tomography (CT or CAT scan) is a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs.

Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) Scan of the Pancreas

Computed tomography (CT or CAT scan) is a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than standard x-rays.

Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a diagnostic procedure that allows the physician to diagnose and treat problems in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas. The procedure combines x-ray and the use of an endoscope - a long, flexible, lighted tube.

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a diagnostic procedure that allows the physician to diagnose and treat problems in the upper gastrointestinal (UGI) tract. The physician uses a long, flexible, lighted tube called an endoscope.

Liver Biopsy

A liver biopsy is a procedure in which tissue samples from the liver are removed for examination under a microscope. It is used to diagnose many liver conditions. During a liver biopsy, tissue samples are removed with a special needle to determine if cancer or other abnormal cells are present, or to determine how well the liver is working.


Liver Scan

A liver scan is a specialized radiology procedure used to examine the liver to identify certain conditions or to assess the function of the liver. A liver scan may also be used to follow the progress of treatment of certain conditions. This procedure may also be referred to as a liver-spleen scan because the spleen often is examined as well due to its proximity and close functional relationship to the liver.

Sigmoidoscopy

A sigmoidoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that allows the physician to examine the lower one-third of the large intestine. Sigmoidoscopy is helpful in identifying the causes of diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, abnormal growths, and bleeding. It may also be used to obtain biopsies and to perform procedures such as removal of polyps or hemorrhoids.

Upper Gastrointestinal Series

(UGI, Upper GI Series, GI Series) Procedure Overview What is an upper gastrointestinal series? An upper gastrointestinal series (UGI) is a radiographic (x-ray) examination of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine) are made visible on x-ray film by a liquid suspension called barium.
 

Colon Cancer Information and Services Brochure

Click this image to download a brochure on the Colon Cancer Services
















Download a brochure about 
Colon Cancer Information
and Services

at the Cancer Center at
El Camino Hospital