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Colorectal Cancer Specialist

Greater Houston Radiation Oncology

Radiation Oncologists located in North Houston, South Houston & Huntsville, TX

Over 147,000 men and women in the United States are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year. To treat colorectal cancer in all stages, Kirk Kanady, MD, and Maria Sosa, MD, at Greater Houston Radiation Oncology customize your care plan to treat cancer and prevent it from spreading. At their two offices in Houston, Texas, and an office in Huntsville, Texas, the team provides a range of cancer treatments, including advanced radiation therapies. To discover more about available colorectal cancer treatment options, call the Greater Houston Radiation Oncology office nearest you or schedule an appointment online today.

Colorectal Cancer Q & A

What is colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer describes cancer that begins in your colon or rectum and can spread to other areas of your body. While you can develop colon cancer or rectal cancer, the similarities of the diseases group them under the colorectal cancer umbrella.

This type of cancer typically begins as a growth, known as a polyp, in the inner lining of your colon (large intestine) or rectum. Not all polyps are cancerous (hyperplastic polyps), but some (adenomas) can become cancerous over time.

The cancerous cells can spread into the wall of your rectum or colon and travel to surrounding lymph nodes and other parts of your body. The stage of your cancer depends on how far the disease has spread.

What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?

In the earliest stages, colorectal cancer may not cause any noticeable symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, you may experience:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Bloody stool
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Abdominal cramping and pain

Many people experience a change in their bowel habits and often feel like they need to have a bowel movement, even after using the bathroom.

How is colorectal cancer diagnosed?

If you experience colorectal cancer symptoms, you should schedule a diagnostic evaluation with the team at Greater Houston Radiation Oncology.

On-site testing services include positron emission tomography (PET) scans and other diagnostic imaging tests. You may also need a colonoscopy, a minimally invasive procedure that uses a specialized scope with an attached camera. 

The scope travels through your anus up into your colon, and the camera sends real-time images of your internal structures to identify polyps and other abnormalities. Your provider can also perform a biopsy to remove a sample of tissue or the entire polyp for further evaluation.

Because colorectal cancer symptoms don’t always occur in the earliest stages of the disease, you should have preventive colonoscopy screenings if you have risk factors for or a history of colorectal cancer.

How is colorectal cancer treated?

Depending on the stage of your colorectal cancer and the location of the polyps, your Greater Houston Radiation Oncology provider creates a treatment plan to destroy existing cancer cells and prevent them from spreading to other areas of your body.

In some cases, the team can remove all polyps during a colonoscopy. You may also need radiation therapy to destroy all cancerous cells. Greater Houston Radiation Oncology offers advanced radiation therapies, including:

  • RapidArc – Volumetric Arc Therapy
  • Image Guidance Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
  • Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)
  • Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D CRT)
  • Four-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy (4D CRT)
  • Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

You may also be a candidate for chemotherapy, a treatment that uses medications to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be a standalone treatment or may be necessary after surgery to remove polyps or tumors.

To learn more about custom treatments available for colorectal cancer at Greater Houston Radiation Oncology, call the office nearest you or schedule a consultation online today.