Comprehensive Colon and Rectal Care
Our expert Colon and Rectal Care teams provide comprehensive, compassionate care across our regions. Our specialties range from preventative colon care to colon and rectal surgery, learn more about our individual specialties below.
Colon cancer ranks as the third-most common, and third-deadliest, form of cancer. With colon cancer, polyps (or abnormal growths) form in the large intestine and over time they can develop into cancer. Risk factors include age, race, family history, previous polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, smoking and heavy alcohol use. Mercy Health experts recommend eating a high-fiber diet rich in fruits and vegetables and reducing consumption of sugar and processed foods and exercise to help reduce your risk for colon cancer. Colon cancer symptoms include stomach pain, blood in your stool, very dark stool or change in bowl habits. Talk to your doctor if you experience these issues. Early stages of colon cancer often present with no symptoms which is why preventative measures and screenings are important. Our experts recommend screenings start at age 50, or possibly earlier if you have a family history of the disease. Colon cancer screening options include a stool test you can do at home, as well as colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy or CT colonography. Surgeons perform colon cancer surgery to remove cancerous growths. The type of surgery will depend on how progressed the cancer is. Localized colon cancer can usually be treated with a polypectomy to remove the tumor and surrounding tissue during a colonoscopy. Tumors that are too large to remove with a polypectomy will typically be removed with laparoscopic surgery. Colon cancer that has spread may require the surgical oncologist to perform a partial colectomy to remove parts of your colon that contain the cancer. You may also receive chemotherapy and radiation after surgery.Learn More
Proper diet and exercise can go a long way toward helping maintain your colon health. By limiting red meat and sugar and increasing fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, you can greatly improve the odds of suffering colon cancer. Your doctor and/or Mercy Health dieticians can help you come up with a food strategy that helps prevent colon problems. Our experts recommend colon cancer screening for you once you turn 50, or earlier if you have a higher risk. The following conditions make your risk higher than average: A personal history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps A personal history of ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease A strong family history of colorectal cancer or polyps Several colon cancer screening options exist, including stool test you can do at home, or colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or CT colonography at a doctor's office, clinic or hospital. Talk to your doctor about which test works best for you. All of the tests help find indications of colon cancer – and the earlier the detection, the easier to treat. Services We Offer Colonoscopy, uses thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera to look for signs of ulcers, polyps and tumors in your large intestine, or colon. Doctors may remove tissue samples or abnormal growths for cancer testing. CT colonography, employs pictures from a CT scan to look at the colon. Flexible sigmoidoscopy, uses a lighted tube that can bend around the corners of the colon. High-sensitivity fecal occult blood test (FOBT), looks for blood in your stool at microscopic levels.Learn More