Colorectal cancer care in central Denver

Colorectal cancer is a term that encompasses both colon cancer, cancer affecting the longest part of the large intestine, and rectal cancer, cancer affecting the last six to eight inches of the large intestine. Colorectal cancer, existing in the family of gastrointestinal cancers, is typically slow-growing and therefore is highly preventable and treatable. An estimated one in 20 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer, but thanks to early screening tools, education and improvement in treatment techniques, there are more than one million survivors of colorectal cancer in the U.S.

Sarah Cannon at Rose Medical Center is the best option for colorectal cancer treatment in Colorado. In fact, 66.5 percent of our Stage 4 colorectal cancer patients are alive five years after treatment compared to an average 52.8 percent of patients treated at other hospitals in Colorado.

Colon cancer specialists at Rose

Learning about the risk factors and signs of colon and rectal cancer, as well as regular screening and follow up, will help improve the outcomes for colorectal cancer patients.

Sarah Cannon at Rose Medical Center employs a range of oncology professionals to provide comprehensive cancer care for all of the needs of our colorectal cancer patients. Our colon and rectal surgery specialists are available to perform advanced, life-saving treatments.

Find a colon and rectal surgery specialist

Risk factors for colorectal cancer

  • Family history, inherited syndromes
  • Race (African Americans and Ashkenazi Jews are at highest risk.)
  • Diet (Diets high in red and processed meats may increase your colorectal cancer risk.)
  • Activity level
  • Smoking and alcohol use
  • Age (Nearly 95 percent of all colorectal cancers occur in patients 45 years old or older.)
  • History of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Obesity
  • Type II diabetes

Colorectal cancer screening

If you are at an increased risk for developing colon cancer or rectal cancer, talk to your physician about creating a more aggressive screening plan and follow up. Everyone is encouraged to begin regular screenings for colorectal cancer at 50 years old.

The suggested colorectal screening recommendations include:

  • Colonoscopy every 10 years
  • CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every five years
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years
  • Double-contrast barium enema every five years

Talk to your primary care physician about creating the best screening plan for your needs.

Colorectal cancer symptoms

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Rectal bleeding (blood in stool)
  • Abdominal discomfort (gas, pain)
  • Change in bowel habits, lasting longer than four weeks
  • Alternating between diarrhea and constipation
  • Increased frequency of bowel movements
  • A feeling of incomplete bowel movements (tenesmus)
  • Stool that is narrower than normal, like a pencil, or that is differently shaped than normal
  • Increase in intestinal discomfort, including cramping pain, gas and/or bloating
  • Intestinal discomfort that is not relieved by bowel movement

Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.

About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute

Rose Medical Center is part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare. Our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis, to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally-trusted care with the support of a globally-recognized network.

askSARAH helpline

Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially-trained nurses are available 24/7 and all calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (303) 253-3225 or chat online at