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Methodist Healthcare

Colorectal cancer

When polyps in the lower digestive tract (the colon and rectum) become cancerous. this is called colorectal cancer. It is often treated with chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. Colonoscopy screenings identify potential polyps and help you get treated sooner and more effectively.

Colon and rectal cancer care in San Antonio

At Methodist Health care our colorectal cancer program maintains the highest standards in the region, with personalized, compassionate care for patients on their journey from discovery to recovery.

Our multidisciplinary team of gastroenterologists, oncologists, colorectal surgeons, pathologists, radiologists and other medical professionals take a diverse approach to colon and rectal (colorectal) cancer treatment. Your cancer care team at Methodist Healthcare offers:

  • Screening and diagnostic colonoscopy
  • Support of a colorectal nurse navigator who will guide you through your cancer journey
  • Advanced endoscopy offering Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) to more precisely diagnose cancers
  • Robotic surgery
  • Enhanced Surgical Recovery program (ESR) – a new way of improving the experience of patients who need major surgery. It helps patients recover sooner so life can return to normal as quickly as possible. The ESR program focuses on making sure that patients are actively involved in their recovery.
  • Genetic counseling
  • Cancer support services and access to local and national support groups
  • Oncology rehabilitation
  • Quality-based, coordinated care from screening through survivorship
For more information about our colorectal cancer services, please call askSARAH at (210) 507-0941.

Types of colorectal cancer

There are two types of colorectal cancer: colon cancer and rectal/anal cancer. Colon cancer is found in the large intestine and the lower part of the digestive system. Rectal/anal cancer is found in the last several inches of the colon.

Most colorectal cancers start as benign clumps of cells found in the colon called adenomatous polyps. Over time, some of these polyps can become colon cancer. The vast majority of polyps are small and rarely produce any symptoms. Doctors recommend regular screenings, including colonoscopies, to help prevent colon cancer by identifying polyps before they become cancerous.

There are very few warning signs of colon cancer during the early stages of the disease. As the cancer spreads, symptoms are more likely to appear and will vary depending on the size and location of the cancerous cells.

Colorectal cancer symptoms

Some of the symptoms associated with colorectal cancer include:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Bloody stool
  • Inconsistency in bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation
  • Abdominal discomfort that lasts for more than a few days

Colorectal cancer treatment

If you’ve been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, your cancer care team will discuss your treatment options with you. Your treatment depends on what stage your cancer is currently in and can consist of one or more of the following:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Medications

Ostomy services

As part of our colorectal cancer services, we also offer ostomy surgery and support services. Ostomy surgery is a procedure that reroutes bodily waste from its usual path. If you have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer and require advanced treatment, you may also benefit from ostomy surgery. We offer several options for ostomy surgery, including:

  • Colostomy
  • Ileostomy
  • Urostomy

If you receive an ostomy procedure, our teams at Methodist Hospital and Methodist Hospital Specialty and Transplant offer follow up care and ongoing support, including our outpatient ostomy clinics that help you navigate life post-surgery.

Other ostomy services we offer include:

  • Preoperative services including stoma site selection and general education.
  • Inpatient services that also include postoperative education with hands-on demonstrations that will help you to identify properly fitting products and will also connect you to resources and community support.
  • Outpatient clinics that will troubleshoot leakage and skin breakdown issues, identify properly fitting products, assess for changes in weight, abdominal contours or mobility issues and assist with difficulty obtaining ostomy supplies.

Videos about our Colorectal cancer services

Showing 2 Videos

Colorectal Cancer Survivor, diagnosed at 29 years old

Adam Barraza, 29 years old, knew that his persistent stomach pains were out of the norm. A screening colonoscopy confirmed that Adam had nearly 40 polyps in his large intestine. Watch to find out more about Adam's surgery at Methodist Hospital

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