Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is out-of-control cell growth that develops in the colon. Often it is referred to as colorectal cancer, meaning cancer of the colon and rectum. The colon is a six-foot-long tube that connects to the rectum, an eight-inch tube, and together they are known as the large intestine. Most cases of colon cancer begin as small, noncancerous (or benign) clumps of cells called polyps, which are growths on the inner surface of the colon. While most polyps do not become cancer, almost all cancers start as polyps. Colon cancer may have no obvious symptoms, which is why most doctors recommend regular colonoscopies starting at age 50, especially for those with a family history of the disease.

 

Why UAB

Patients who choose UAB Medicine to treat their colon cancer will be seen by the UAB Multidisciplinary Colorectal Cancer Clinic, a “one-stop shop” where patients visit with multiple specialists on the same day and leave that initial appointment with a customized treatment plan. Opened in 2018, the clinic features a range of medical professionals in a single location, including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and surgical oncologists. This collaborative approach helps ensure seamless coordination among cancer specialists and enables treatment to begin sooner. Appointments are available within one week.

The clinic is part of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, where cutting-edge cancer research is being conducted, so patients may be eligible for medications and treatments through clinical trials that aren’t available at most other medical centers. We understand that a colon cancer diagnosis can be stressful for patients, so we provide a nurse navigator to help organize your visit. Our highly trained nurse navigators streamline your care at UAB Medicine by arranging for your medical records, setting your appointments, and guiding you throughout the process, which helps give you peace of mind and allows your treatment team to deliver more efficient care.

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Related Treatments

Depending on your case and your physician’s assessment, your condition may be treated using one or more various procedures. Some of those procedures are listed below for your convenience. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list and may vary depending on your specific diagnosis.

Clinical Trials

UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for the diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.

View Clinical Trials