At MedStar Franklin Square, we understand how difficult a colorectal cancer diagnosis can be for you or your loved one. If you’ve been diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer, you can rely on our devoted colorectal cancer teams, from treatment to follow-up care. Our knowledgeable doctors and nurses will answer any questions you may have during the colorectal cancer diagnosis and will be with you every step of the way.

Who should be screened for colorectal cancer? Shweta Kurian, MD, medical oncologist, explains why the average person should start being screened at age 50 in the video below: 

Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis

Our goal at MedStar Franklin Square is to complete the colorectal cancer diagnostic phase promptly so that you can begin treatment as soon as possible. We use the most advanced diagnostic technology  to diagnose and stage your colorectal cancer because we know that the more accurate your diagnosis, the more precise your treatment regimen will be.

Oncologists believe many cases of colorectal cancer can be cured, as long as they are diagnosed early. Unfortunately, most patients don't schedule regular preventive examinations and only seek medical attention when they have symptoms. As a result, colorectal cancer is usually diagnosed after it has left the bowel lining and progressed beyond the site of origin.

At MedStar Franklin Square, we advise our patients to get tested at a younger age and more frequently if they have certain risk factors. These include a strong family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, a relative with a genetic colorectal cancer syndrome or a personal history of colorectal cancer, adenomatous polyps  or inflammatory bowel disease.

Colorectal Cancer Diagnostic Tests

Doctors at MedStar Franklin Square use a variety of tests to diagnose colorectal cancer and determine if it has spread (metastasized) to other parts of your body. These tests may also help your doctor determine which treatment will be most effective.

In most cases, a biopsy is the only way to make a definitive colorectal cancer diagnosis. Your MedStar doctor will consider several factors when deciding which diagnostic test is right for you, such as your age, medical history, type of cancer suspected, symptoms and previous colorectal cancer tests.

Colonoscopy - A colonoscopy allows your MedStar doctor to see inside your rectum and colon to find polyps or other signs of colon cancer. Learn more about colonoscopies

If you are age 50 or older, put your fears aside, and schedule your colonoscopy, a painless screening that could save your life. Learn more about the procedure in the video below: 

Biopsy - In a biopsy, your MedStar doctor will remove a small amount of tissue from your rectum or colon and examine it under a microscope to determine if cancer is present. Other tests can be used to suggest whether or not cancer is present, but only a biopsy can definitively diagnose rectal cancer.

Molecular testing - Your MedStar doctor may use molecular testing to determine if your colorectal cancer treatment options include targeted therapy.

Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan - A CT scan may be used to help your MedStar doctor determine if colorectal cancer has spread to other parts of your body.

In addition to these tests, your doctor may use a blood test, MRI, ultrasound, or other tests to help diagnose colorectal cancer.

Once your diagnostic tests are complete, your doctor will review the results. If the tests show that colorectal cancer is present, the results of your tests will help your doctor determine the stage of cancer and which treatments options will be most effective.

Learn more about colorectal cancer, including treatments provided by MedStar Franklin Square:

 

Location Information

For a physician referral, please call 443-777-7900.

For more information about our clinical trials, please call 443-777-7364.

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

Learn about all MedStar Health Baltimore Cancer Network colorectal cancer treatment locations 

Colorectal Cancer Specialists 

Jeffrey Ferris, MD, colorectal cancer surgeon

Learn More