Colon cancer is a potentially life-threatening condition, but early intervention and expert treatment offer genuine hope if you receive this diagnosis. Karen Zaghiyan, MD, FACS, FASCRS, is a double board-certified colorectal surgeon who provides exceptional treatment and advanced surgical options for colon cancer at her office in Los Angeles, California. To learn more about colon cancer, call Karen Zaghiyan MD or book an appointment online today.
Colon cancer is a potentially preventable form of cancer that starts as a small precancerous growth inside the colon known as a polyp. These polyps sometimes undergo cellular changes and become cancerous, and if left untreated, can grow and then spread into other areas of your body.
Undergoing a routine colonoscopy procedure enables Dr. Zaghiyan to detect any premalignant polyps you may have and remove them to prevent cancer from developing.
If you have colon cancer, your treatment depends on where the cancer is growing, what stage it’s at, and other factors such as your general health.
The first step is to order blood tests to check your carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) level and imaging scans such as a CT or PET scan of your abdomen, pelvis, and chest.
It’s important to see whether the cancer is metastasizing, or spreading into other parts of your body, before making any decision on treatment.
Chemotherapy may be necessary in addition to or instead of surgery if cancer spreads into areas such as your lymph nodes.
If your cancer has not spread to other organs, the first treatment of your cancer is generally surgery. Dr. Zaghiyan needs to remove the affected section of the colon and the associated lymph nodes, then reconnect the bowel. She’s usually able to perform this procedure using minimally invasive laparoscopic or robotic-assisted surgery to help minimize surgical scarring, reduce your postoperative pain, and speed up your surgical recovery.
After surgery, a pathologist will assess the cancer and lymph nodes. If there is microscopic cancer spread to the removed lymph nodes, further treatment with chemotherapy may be necessary.
If the cancer has spread to the liver, lungs, or elsewhere, Dr. Zaghiyan recommends a multi-team evaluation to plan the best treatment for you, which may include a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Dr. Zaghiyan can help coordinate this team effort to plan your individualized treatment strategy to assure optimal outcomes.
Preventing colorectal cancer by undergoing a colonoscopy is the best way to avoid the need for surgery, but if you need surgical treatment for colorectal cancer, Dr. Zaghiyan is one of the most accomplished specialist surgeons in the United States.
To schedule a colorectal cancer surgery consultation, call Karen Zaghiyan MD or book an appointment online today.