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Colon Cancer Specialist

Digestive & Liver Disease Center of San Antonio PLLC

Robert M Narvaez, MD, MBA

Digestive Healthcare Center & Gastroenterologist located in San Antonio, TX

Colon cancer causes more than 50,000 deaths every year in the United States — and many of those deaths could have been prevented with proper screening and early treatment. At Digestive & Liver Disease Center of San Antonio PLLC, leading colon cancer specialist Robert Narvaez, MD, MBA, helps patients fight colon cancer with regular screenings, advanced diagnostics, and cutting-edge treatments. Call the San Antonio, Texas, office or use the online scheduler to book your appointment with Dr. Narvaez today.

Colon Cancer

What is colon cancer?

Colon cancer occurs when cancerous cell masses develop in your large intestine, which includes your colon and rectum. Nearly all colon cancers start out as adenomatous polyps, small clumps of extra tissue in your colon or rectum. 

Polyps are a kind of early warning sign that you might develop cancer later. But because they don't often cause symptoms, you won't know you have them unless you get regular screenings. 

It usually takes years for polyps to evolve into cancer, and not all polyps become cancerous. Dr. Narvaez can identify polyps in their early form and remove them before they can evolve into colon cancer. This is the safest way to stay healthy, and early action could even save your life. 

When should I have my first colon cancer screening?

It depends on a few factors, including your age, medical history, and family history. Most healthy adults without colon cancer risk factors should start colon cancer screening when they turn 50, or 45 for African Americans.

If you're at risk for colon cancer because of family history or other factors, Dr. Narvaez may recommend starting earlier. 

What are the symptoms of colon cancer?

Colon cancer symptoms can vary considerably based on the location and progress of the cancerous growth. You may not have any symptoms, especially in the early stages. Potential colon cancer symptoms include:

  • Exhaustion
  • Weakness
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Anemia
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Abdominal cramping or pain
  • Abdominal bloating

Other conditions, like inflammatory bowel disease, can cause similar symptoms. If you’re dealing with any of these problems, call Digestive & Liver Disease Center of San Antonio PLLC to schedule an assessment promptly.

How does colon cancer diagnosis work?

Dr. Narvaez performs a physical exam, along with imaging tests like a barium enema X-ray or colonoscopy to diagnose colon cancer. You may also have a biopsy during the colonoscopy. 

What is the treatment for colon cancer?

Colon cancer treatment varies by age, cancer stage, systemic health, and other factors. Dr. Narvaez typically recommends surgery to remove the cancerous tissue, chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination approach. 

If your colon cancer is diagnosed early, at a localized stage, your chance of recovery is 90% or better. Dr. Narvaez creates personalized protocols to help you achieve maximum recovery. 

Need colon cancer support? Trust San Antonio’s top colon cancer specialist at Digestive & Liver Disease Center of San Antonio PLLC for expert care. Book an appointment online or by phone today.