March is National Colorectal Cancer awareness month and with us this morning was Dr. Douglas J Riverera, a board-certified “Radiation oncologist” with Austin Cyberknife to tell us more.
What is colorectal cancer and what are some risk factors associated with it?
Colorectal cancer, also known as bowel cancer, colon cancer, or rectal cancer, is any cancer that affects the colon and the rectum. Some factors that may increase your risk of colon cancer include:
- Older age – Colon cancer can be diagnosed at any age, but a majority of people with colon cancer are older than 50.
- African-American race – African-Americans have a greater risk of colon cancer than do people of other races.
- A personal history of polyps and/or a family history of colon cancer
- Inflammatory intestinal conditions – Chronic inflammatory diseases of the colon, such as ulcerative colitis and
- Crohn’s disease, can increase your risk of colon cancer.
- Low-fiber, high-fat diet
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Heavy smoking and alcohol use
What are some signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer?
- A persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool
- Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
- Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
- Weakness or fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
How is metastatic colorectal cancer treated at Austin CyberKnife?
- Patients diagnosed with metastatic colorectal cancer are treated with the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System.
What is CyberKnife?
- CyberKnife is a painless, nonsurgical alternative to surgery for the treatment of both cancerous and non-cancerous tumors anywhere in the body.
- The treatment delivers beams of high dose radiation to tumors with extreme precision and features a device that controls the width of the radiation beams the machine delivers during treatment, allowing our clinical experts to vary the beam size and treat a larger variety of tumors throughout the body.
What are some benefits of using CyberKnife for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer?
There are numerous benefits of CyberKnife treatment, including:
- It’s nonsurgical, meaning no incisions
- There is no anesthesia or hospitalization required
- It’s painless
- It’s completed in five or fewer outpatient treatment sessions
- There is little to no recovery time, allowing for an immediate return to daily activities
- There are minimal, if any, side effects
- Due to pinpoint precision of high-dose radiation delivery, there is minimal radiation exposure to healthy tissue surrounding a tumor
- CyberKnife can treat patients that have previously had surgery, gone through radiation therapy, or are currently undergoing radiation therapy.
It never hurts to get a second opinion. Contact Austin CyberKnife, we are available for second opinions and will help answer any questions you may have about cancer treatment. Austin CyberKnife is located on I-35 near the Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas. Call 512-324-8060 or go to www.AustinCyberKnife.com for more details.