Colorectal Cancer Screening and Treatment at Tampa General Hospital

Colorectal cancer screening is typically recommended for all adults over the age of 50. However, some people need to be examined regularly for bowel cancers before this age, especially people who have an inflammatory bowel condition like Crohn’s disease, people with genetic conditions that predispose them to developing such cancers (including Lynch syndrome), and people who have close relatives with precancerous polyps or confirmed incidences of cancer. These colorectal cancer screening methods are vital to the early detection of bowel cancers because the tumors typically do not cause notable symptoms early in their development. As a general rule, patients often have a wider range of treatment options when their cancer is detected early.

As one of the leading colorectal cancer treatment hospitals in west central Florida, Tampa General Hospital uses several colorectal cancer screening methods to detect precancerous polyps and cancerous tumors, including:

  • Colonoscopy – A long, flexible tube with a small camera at the end is used to examine the walls of the colon and rectum.
  • Stool DNA test – A sample of stool is collected and checked in a lab for abnormal DNA that could indicate the presence of cancer or precancerous polyps.
  • Contrast barium enema – An x-ray test is administered to show the structure of the colon and rectum.
  • Sigmoidoscopy – A flexible, lighted tube is inserted into the rectum and used to examine the lower colon to check for polyps and cancer.
  • Fecal occult blood test – A sample of stool is examined for blood, which can be a sign of a precancerous polyp or cancer.
  • CT colonography – A CT scan is taken of the colon and rectum to examine these portions of the digestive tract.

When a potential tumor or polyp is detected, our cancer specialists will develop an individualized plan to evaluate and treat it. In cases that require surgery, the expertise of our team of surgeons and our extensive technological resources enables us to perform procedures to remove the malignant tissue or polyp. Our surgeons often use minimally invasive techniques that limit the side effects of a surgery.

For a physician referral or to schedule an appointment, please call (813) 844-2200.