Colorectal Cancer

Nationally, colorectal cancer is the third-most common cancer in both men and women. At the Cancer Institute, you benefit from the latest treatment protocols through our membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance, affiliated with the country’s premier cancer center.

The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute’s board-certified colorectal surgeons are innovators in the use of minimally invasive surgery and advanced techniques. These techniques, combined with active screening programs, have helped reduce death rates from colorectal cancer substantially. This means patients have direct access to world-renowned clinical expertise and research trials - all while being treated close to home.

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Call 855.255.6181 or request a callback for support, advice, or a second opinion.

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Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

Unfortunately, colorectal cancer does not always cause symptoms until it starts to spread. 

At that point, symptoms can include:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Blood in the stool or very dark stool
  • Changes in bowel habits, such as increased frequency or feeling that you cannot empty your bowels completely

Diagnosing Colorectal Cancer

Because early stage colorectal cancer does not usually have symptoms, regular screening is the best way to detect a problem. Screening can detect removable precancerous lesions.

It can also identify colorectal cancer early enough to respond well to treatment. People at average risk for developing colorectal cancer should begin annual screening at age 50.

The most accurate and recommended method of screening is the colonoscopy, a complete examination of the large intestine to detect and prevent cancer through the removal of noncancerous polyps.

If you cannot have a colonoscopy, other options include:

  • Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT). This is a kit you use to collect stool and send to a lab. If blood is detected, a follow-up colonoscopy is suggested. The Cancer Institute offers them free for people with no insurance.
  • Virtual Colonoscopy (Colonography). The colon is filled with air and a special CT scan is performed. It is less accurate than a colonoscopy and does not allow the doctors to remove polyps.
  • Sigmoidoscopy. Performed in the doctor’s office, this detects polyps or tumors in the lower portion of the colon and rectum only.

Treating Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is treated with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation - or a combination of the three.

Common surgeries for colorectal cancer include:

  • Polypectomy: Your surgeon removes a polyp from the wall of your colon using an electric current from a wire loop passed through a colonoscope
  • Local incision: Removal of polyps on the colon’s inner lining using tools passed through a colonoscope
  • Colectomy: Removal of all or part of the colon. Partial removal is called a hemicolectomy. Using laparoscopic technology, helps your surgeon perform the procedure through small incisions

Schedule Your Colonoscopy Today

Sheduling a colonoscopy is now easier than ever. Click the location below that is the most convenient for you and schedule your appointment today.

Hartford Hospital     The Hospital of Central Connecticut

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance

We offer the latest treatments through our ongoing membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Alliance, which gives you access to the latest standards of care and clinical trials.

The MSK Alliance

Colorectal Cancer News

September 17, 2021

Younger is Better: First Colorectal Screening Now Recommended at 45

Colorectal cancer, often referred to as colon cancer, is the second leading cause of cancer death among people in this [...]

January 05, 2021

Colorectal Cancer: Balancing Treatment with Managing Side Effects

Dr. Christine Marie Bartus Colorectal Surgeon Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute Colorectal cancer, or cancer of the colon and the rectum, [...]

August 31, 2020

Chadwick Boseman’s Death: When Should a Younger Person Get a Colonoscopy?

As the superhero in “Black Panther,” actor Chadwick Boseman was fierce, but his recent death, at 43, represents a frightening national [...]

June 08, 2020

Colon Cancer: What Happens After Treatment?

Dr. Brian Byrne Medical Oncologist Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute There are two big events in June that always remind me [...]

November 25, 2019

Why ‘Hot Chemo’ Can Be More Effective Than IV Against Cancer

While traditional chemotherapy drips intravenously into the body to circulate and attack deadly cancer cells, a faster, a more effective [...]

November 05, 2019

A New Way to Remove Precancerous Lesions from GI Tract

Tiny lesions rooted deep inside the intestinal tract might sound deadly and, in the past, they might have been. But, [...]

Support at the Cancer Institute

The Cancer Institute offers whatever you and your family need on your journey, whether it’s access to an oncology social worker, a nurse navigator to coordinate your care or the support of our Patient and Family Resource Center.


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