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Colon Cancer Specialist

Farouk S. Tootla, MD, FACS, FACCRS -  - Colorectal Surgeon

Farouk S. Tootla, MD, FACS, FACCRS

Colorectal Surgeon located in Waterford, MI

Colorectal cancer is common and life-threatening. As a matter of fact, more than 140,000 people are annually diagnosed with this form of cancer, and 50,000 of those people will die from it. Colorectal cancer is most often diagnosed after a colonoscopy, and the chances of a complete recovery are highest when the disease is diagnosed early. Scheduling your colonoscopy according to your doctor's recommendations - before you experience any signs and symptoms of disease - is critical in detecting this common form of cancer early. Contact Dr. Farouk Tootla's office in Waterford, Michigan to schedule your life-saving colonoscopy today.

Colon Cancer and Colon Cancer Screenings Q & A

What is colorectal cancer?

Cancer is a condition in which cell growth spirals out of control. Colorectal cancer begins in either the rectum or the colon. You may hear your cancer called colon cancer or rectal cancer.

When should I be screened for colorectal cancer?

Regular screening, beginning at age 50, is the key to preventing colorectal cancer. According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), you should be screened annually from age 50-75 using colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or high-sensitivity fecal occult blood testing.

You should begin screening for colorectal cancer soon after turning 50, and then continue getting screened at regular intervals. Certain patients should begin screening earlier, including those who:

  • Have had colon cancer in the past
  • Have a family history of colon cancer (parent, sibling, grandparent)
  • Have inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis.
  • Have genetic syndromes such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome).

What screening is used to diagnose colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer can generally be identified through fecal occult blood testing, colonoscopy, or sigmoidoscopy. If cancer is suspected, specimens are taken during the procedure and sent to the lab for evaluation.

How is colorectal cancer treated?

Treatment depends on the stage and size of your cancerous growths. Some treatments used for colon cancer include:

  • Colonoscopy and polyp removal
  • Endoscopic mucosal resection (removing polyps and some of the lining)
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Partial colectomy to remove the part of the colon that’s affected
  • Colostomy, an opening created to allow waste to exit the body when the colon can be reattached
  • Lymph node removal
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Targeted drugs

In addition, Dr. Tootla may recommend palliative care to ensure your pain and symptoms are managed throughout the process.

What kind of doctor treats colon cancer?

Colon cancer must be treated by a specialist. If you’ve been diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer, you should be referred to a colon and rectal surgeon or oncologist for next steps. Keep in mind that you have the right to choose your own specialist; simply let your primary care doctor know to whom you would like to be referred for treatment.