Colon Cancer Specialist

Gabriel Akopian, MD -  - General and Colorectal Surgeon

Gabriel Akopian, MD

General and Colorectal Surgeon located in Pasadena, CA

Colon cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer, so common that most adults are screened for it regularly after reaching middle age. Many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms, so screenings can be the only way to make sure you catch it early. Surgery is usually recommended to remove cancerous tissue, and Gabriel Akopian, MD, specializes in the most effective, minimally invasive surgeries available to treat colon cancer: laparoscopic colon resection and robotic-assisted colectomy. For more information on these state-of-the-art procedures, call his Pasadena, California, office or make an appointment online.

Colon Cancer Q & A

What is colon cancer?

Colon cancer is any cancer that occurs in the large intestine, the last organ in the digestive system. Most forms of colon cancer begin as benign lumps called adenomatous polyps that turn into cancerous tumors over time.

Since these polyps often produce no symptoms until the cancer has advanced, it’s important to get regular screening tests to identify and remove polyps.

What are the symptoms of colon cancer?

If you have colon cancer, you’ll likely notice

  • A drastic or long-lasting change in bowel habits, including constipation or diarrhea
  • Bleeding from your anus, or blood in your stool
  • Persistent discomfort in the abdomen, like cramps, gas or a stomachache
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Feeling dizzy, weak, or fatigued

Symptoms can vary depending on how advanced the cancer is, and on its position in the colon.

Who is most at risk of developing colon cancer?

While colon cancer could affect anyone, it seems to affect certain groups more often, such as:

  • People over 50
  • African-Americans
  • People with a history of colorectal polyps
  • People with inflammatory intestinal conditions
  • People with a family history of colon cancer
  • People with a low-fiber, high-fat diet
  • People who are obese, or have diabetes
  • People who lead a sedentary lifestyle, smoke or drink to excess
  • People who have previously had radiation therapy for cancer

Age appears to be the greatest determinative factor in colon cancer, as almost all cases occur in people over 50. If you fall into one or more of these groups, you should learn more about getting screened for colon cancer today.

How do you treat colon cancer?

Colon cancer is usually identified by performing a colonoscopy and a series of blood tests to locate and stage the cancer. Once this is done, surgery is often recommended to remove the tumor from the colon.

Gabriel Akopian, MD, is a leading provider of two of the least invasive surgeries used for the treatment of colon cancer. In addition to the laparoscopic colectomy or colon resection that is often used to remove cancerous tissue, he can offer his patients a robotic colectomy as well. In this state-of-the-art procedure, Dr. Akopian uses a computer terminal to control tiny robotic arms to assist in the surgery. This increased precision ensures you have the least invasive, most effective treatment possible.

If you’ve been diagnosed with colon cancer, or if you have any questions, call Dr. Akopian’s friendly staff today or make an appointment online.