Colon & Rectal Cancers - Treatable, Beatable, & Preventable

Posted on Monday, June 24, 2019 in Videos

Drs. David Schuval and Ralph Silverman of ColoRectal Specialists in south St. Louis County discuss colon and rectal cancers.


Dr. Silverman: One of the reasons why we recommend performing colonoscopies routinely is to catch these things very early on because it is kind of a silent killer. There are not a lot of signs and symptoms until late in the disease.

Dr. Schuval: Almost all colon cancers start as a colon polyp: a benign growth on the lining of the intestines. With colonoscopy those growths can be removed and cancer can be prevented at that location. So we try to encourage people to get treatments or testing before they have problems so we can find these small growths way before you have any symptoms; remove them before you have any problems.

Colon cancer removal diagram

Dr. Silverman: We recommend colonoscopy exams if you have no family history of polyps or cancers starting at age 50 and then if everything's okay meaning no polyps or tumors - we'll repeat it every 10 years. If there's a problem like you have a polyp or a cancer then you might need to have that repeated more frequently.

Dr. Schuval: Colon cancer is treatable, beatable, but most importantly: preventable.
The best operation is no operation. If the benign polyp can be removed via simple outpatient procedure before it becomes a cancer, that's great. That's a win-win situation for everybody.