Colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon and/or rectum) strikes both men and women. In fact, it is the third most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Colorectal cancer often goes undetected because it starts out quietly, with no real symptoms.
The first step in preventing colon cancer is to learn your risk and start a proactive screening program. That’s why Avera is providing a free, online colon health risk assessment.
Colorectal cancer can be prevented
Beginning at age 50, talk to your primary care physician about starting a screening program and follow one of these guidelines:
If you don’t have a personal physician, call 1-877-AT-AVERA (1-877-282-8372) for referral to an Avera physician.
Decrease your risk for colorectal cancer
By improving your diet, increasing your physical activity, not smoking, and limiting use of alcohol you can lower your risk of colorectal cancer. Learn more about healthy living.
Personal and Family Medical History
Learning about the role of your personal and family history in the development of colorectal cancer can help ensure that you seek appropriate tests, which can help detect the disease at an earlier, more treatable stage.
With regular screening, colorectal cancer can be found early, when treatment is most effective. In many cases, screening can prevent colorectal cancer by finding and removing polyps before they become cancer. And if cancer is present, earlier detection means a chance at a longer life.
Colon Cancer Protocol
Innovating Delivery of Digestive Disease Care
Leading specialists from Avera McKennan Digestive Disease are united across major clinical areas focused on the gastrointestinal tract.
Each clinical area is represented with board-certified adult gastroenterologists, surgeons, hepatologists, oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists and critical support staff including nurses, genetic counselors, research nurses and dieticians. This team of specialists works collaboratively to evaluate all relevant treatment options and to develop an integrated, coordinated plan of care for patients.
Single Point of Access
A dedicated telephone number gives both patients and referring physicians convenient access to any of our specialists. Trained professionals direct every call to the appropriate clinical area. For patient referral, please call (605) 322-8680.
Certified Nurse Navigator
Elizabeth Harden, CNP, a highly skilled nurse practitioner, guides patients through each step of diagnosis, treatment and recovery. She also facilitates the referring physician’s interaction with the care team and provides day-to-day information on recommended treatment plans and patient progress.
Digestive Disease Conference
Translating Clinical Innovation into Practice
Our Digestive Disease Conference offers a system of care that brings together a multidisciplinary team of physicians to make extraordinary strides in research, technology, and therapies, leading to breakthroughs in treatment options for patients referred into the Digestive Disease program.
This team meets weekly to review cases in detail, explore the best treatment protocols, share knowledge and create custom treatment plans that best suit a patient’s individual case and lifestyle. This conference is a comprehensive approach to innovative digestive care, allowing for integrated clinical care and provides an opportunity for consultation on challenging GI cases in a collaborative, multidisciplinary forum, focused on improving patient outcomes.
Gastrointestinal Tract Cancer Outcomes
We at the Avera Cancer Institute are improving our care for patients with digestive malignancy through a multidisciplinary team approach. GI cancer cases are reviewed at twice monthly conferences by a team including gastroenterologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists and surgeons. In addition to cancer cases, we review cases involving other types of digestive disease.
As we go over details of history, pathology reports and diagnostic images, we can collaborate in making the best treatment recommendations for each individual case. The cancers we treat today, in light of all the treatment options available, require a multidisciplinary approach. A steering committee has been formed to continue to build this program to include a GI navigator who guides cancer patients through all phases of treatment and survivorship.
In terms of outcome and survival of digestive cancers, the Avera Cancer Institute is on par with national statistics. Over 55 percent of all digestive malignancies are colorectal cancers, most commonly diagnosed after age 50. For this reason, a high priority is placed on prevention and early detection through regular screenings such as colonoscopy for people in this age range.
Colorectal Cancer - Media and Resources
Read articles from the Avera newsroom:
Watch the Avera Medical Minute for the latest in health and news. Click on a link below for topics specific to colon cancer.
Learn more about colon cancer in our illustrated health encyclopedia.
Use these Internet Resources to learn more.