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Colorectal cancer

When polyps in the lower digestive tract (the colon and rectum) become cancerous. this is called colorectal cancer. It is often treated with chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. Colonoscopy screenings identify potential polyps and help you get treated sooner and more effectively.

Colorectal cancer care in Virginia

As a fully integrated care network, HCA Virginia can bring together some of the best minds and resources to treat your cancer.

We provide personalized, comprehensive treatment that is seamlessly coordinated throughout your care — from diagnosis to recovery.

Know your risk.

The colorectal cancer risk assessment is a free, confidential tool to help identify your risk for colorectal cancer. This assessment can be completed in about 10 minutes; your results are available immediately. Your email address will not be shared with anyone but will be used to send a copy of your results and offer the next steps in your colorectal health journey.

The colorectal cancer risk assessment is a free, confidential tool to help identify your risk for colorectal cancer. This assessment can be completed in about 10 minutes; your results are available immediately. Your email address will not be shared with anyone but will be used to send a copy of your results and offer the next steps in your colorectal health journey.

What is colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer, also referred to as colon or rectal cancer depending on where it has begun to grow within the large intestine, is the third most common cancer diagnosis according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).

Typical risk factors

Typical risk factors associated with the disease include:

  • A diet high in red meats and processed meats or low in fruits and vegetables
  • Excessive drinking
  • Lack of exercise
  • Obesity
  • Tobacco use

Symptoms of colorectal cancer

In most cases, colorectal cancer can occur in adults without any detectable symptoms, making screening and expert diagnosis even more critical to your health and well-being. You should speak with your doctor if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms. The symptoms or warning signs of colorectal cancer include:

  • Bright red, black, or tarry blood in stool
  • Consistent feeling of fatigue 
  • Constipation, diarrhea, or a feeling of having an unemptied bowel
  • Discomfort in the abdominal area, including:
    • Bloating
    • Cramps
    • Frequent gas pains
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Unusually narrow stosols

Related specialties

Learn more about our related specialties.

Our treatments and services

We offer a variety of services dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer.

Screening for colorectal cancer

Prevention and early detection are your best defenses against colon cancer. Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, recommends people with average risk who are 45 years old and older have a flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years or a colonoscopy every 10 years. However, there are alternative tests depending on your risk, so we encourage you to talk to your doctor about what is right for you.

Colorectal cancer is considered to be one of the most preventable, treatable and survivable cancers there is — but generally only when detected early.

Colonoscopy

The most common and effective way to screen for colorectal cancer is through a colonoscopy. A thin, flexible tube attached to a camera is inserted into the rectum during a colonoscopy.

This allows doctors to gain a detailed view of the colon and catch any signs of cancer early. A colonoscopy usually takes about 30 minutes and patients are typically provided a moderate sedative.

Other colorectal cancer screening tools

Additional screenings for colorectal cancer include:

  • Barium enema with contrast (double-contrast barium enema)
  • Fecal immunochemical test (FIT)
  • Fecal occult blood test (FOBT)
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy (typically every five years)
  • Stool DNA (typically every three years)

Treatment options for colorectal cancer

Treating cancer is a collaborative process. Just as our oncologists, specialists and other experts work with each other, we work with you to make you feel comfortable, confident and optimistic about the road ahead.

Together, we'll build a personalized treatment plan that we feel offers the best outcome and that you feel works for you and your family.

This may include:

  • Infusion therapy, including chemotherapy
  • Medications
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery

The Healthy Living Blog

Fresh knowledge and insights in and around healthcare industry.

37-year-old colorectal cancer survivor at HCA Virginia 

May 02, 2023
Chippenham Hospital
Cory Schwartz of Chesterfield, VA, was diagnosed with colorectal cancer at age 36. He's part of a steadily rising number of adults under 50 diagnosed with the cancer.

37-year-old colorectal cancer survivor at HCA Virginia 

May 02, 2023
Chippenham Hospital
Cory Schwartz of Chesterfield, VA, was diagnosed with colorectal cancer at age 36. He's part of a steadily rising number of adults under 50 diagnosed with the cancer.

Colorectal cancer is rising among young adults 

March 06, 2023
Early-onset colorectal cancer in those under the age of 50 is rising rapidly according to the National Cancer Institute

Screening for colon cancer: You have options 

January 22, 2020
The American Cancer Society updated their guidelines for colorectal cancer screenings, dropping the age for an initial screening from 50 to 45.

Our Colorectal cancer Locations

Henrico Doctors' Hospital
1602 Skipwith Rd
Richmond, VA 23229
 (804) 289 - 4500
Henrico Doctors' Hospital
1602 Skipwith Rd
Richmond, VA 23229
 (804) 289 - 4500