Colon Cancer


What Is Colon Cancer?

The colon, which is part of the digestive system, is the first six feet of the large intestine. The American Cancer Society estimates nearly 103,000 new cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed this year.

While the exact cause of colon cancer isn’t known, experts have identified several risk factors, which increase a person’s chance of getting colon cancer. These include:

  • Being 50 or older
  • Having a family history of colon or rectal cancer
  • Having had the disease before or a history of bowel disease  

In addition, smoking, being overweight, not exercising, eating a diet high in processed meats, and heavy alcohol consumption can increase risk. And remember, colon cancer can strike both men and women.

Colon Cancer Screening

Colon cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. Simple screening tests can prevent most colon cancers from spreading. The American Cancer Society and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) annually after age 50 to aid in the early detection of colorectal cancer or its precursors—polyps, diverticulitis and Crohn’s disease. Other tests for colorectal cancer are recommended for different time periods with at least one of the following done on a regular basis:

  • Colonoscopy every 10 years
  • Virtual colonoscopy every 10 years
  • Double contrast barium enema every five years  

Treatment Options for Colon Cancer

Most people with colon cancer will have some type of surgery. Additional treatments may also be used. Chemotherapy (anticancer drugs in addition to surgery or radiation) for colon cancer may also be used.  

Colon Cancer Treatment

Treatment depends on the stage and location of the colon cancer. A small growth of abnormal cells may be removed through a colonoscope. Cancer at a regional stage that has not spread to nearby lymph nodes will require surgical resection of the colon segment containing the tumor, but probably no additional treatments (like radiation or chemotherapy). Treatment decisions should be made by the patient with his or her physician.            

Why Parrish Medical Center?

Parrish Medical Center is where experience and healing unite in harmony and become a symphony of hope. Certified, with commendation, by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons, PMC’s Cancer Care program provides the finest cancer-fighting treatments and techniques.  

Parrish Healthbridge: Healthcare Simplified

For education, breaking news or a message from your physician, HealthBridge will get it to you quickly.

  • Healthy Living

    A Window to Your Health

    When you make an appointment to have your teeth cleaned, you may wonder how that visit benefits your health. After all, you brush after each...

  • Healthy Living

    Secrets of Stroke Survivors

    No one said bouncing back from a stroke is easy—but it is possibleA stroke strikes swiftly and suddenly and can hit anyone at any age. It oc...

  • Healthy Living

    Mini Frittatas in a Cup

    These frittatas feature tomatoes, broccoli and spinach, all of which have been shown to be good for the heart. Use leftover veggies or add y...

  • Healthy Living

    It's Open Enrollment Season

    It's Open Enrollment Season We participate with Medicare and many Medicare Advantage Plans. Visit for more informat...

  • Healthy Living

    A Healthy Mind

    You likely know someone who has a disease like diabetes or heart failure. What may be surprising is that you also probably have a friend, co...

  • Healthy Living

    Inside the Parrish Sleep Disorders C...

    In 2010, the sleep center conducted 390 sleep studies and ran three to four days per week. In 2014, the center completed over 1,100 sleep st...

  • Healthy Living

    Rx: Food

    Good nutrition is important for everyone, but when you have a chronic condition like diabetes, your diet dramatically affects your well-bein...

  • Healthy Living

    Lifestyle Tips for Breathing Better...

    When was the last time you changed the filter in your vacuum cleaner? Last month? Last year? Never? What about your air conditioner filter?...

  • Healthy Living

    Do I really need a flu shot?

    In a word, yes. Influenza is a serious illness that can lead to hospitalization and even death. Those most vulnerable to complications inclu...

Our Services

PMC helps our community stay healthy by living our vision of Healing Families—Healing Communities®

See Services

Classes & Events

Get healthy—and stay that way!—with dozens of classes, events and support groups to choose from every month.

See Calendar


Parrish Medical Center is among the nation's best in clinical care, safety and patient experiences.

See Awards

Patient Stories

Need a little get-healthy inspiration? Read about how people just like you have transformed their lives.

See Stories

Web Nursery

Parents of babies born at PMC can choose to have a picture of their baby posted.

Find Pictures

Urgent Care Scheduling

Reserve a space at urgent care locations, as well as make an appointment at a physician's office.

Check In