Dr. Mohammed Al Fayyadh is board-certified in general surgery and board-eligible in colon and rectal surgery. With unique training in minimally invasive surgical procedures, he collaborates with his patients to best guide them to healthier, happier lives. Dr. Al Fayyadh has more than eight years of training and has completed more than 2,000 surgical procedures. He enjoys working closely with his patients to make sure they receive the best care and understand their health needs and treatment plans.
Just the Facts
Colorectal cancer occurs when cancer cells develop in the colon or rectum. It is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. If detected early, colorectal cancer is completely curable, so it’s important to get screening tests. You can support a healthy colon by following a high-fiber diet and staying physically active.
- What part of the body do you refer to when talking about colorectal cancer?
There are two types of intestines in the abdomen: the small intestine and large intestine. Colorectal cancer affects the large intestine, which consists of the colon or rectum.
- How common is colorectal cancer?
Colorectal cancer is extremely common. It is the third leading cancer type in the U.S. for men and women.
- Who can get colorectal cancer?
Anyone can get colorectal cancer. There is a trend in colorectal cancers developing in younger patients, likely related to changes in our diets.
- Are there any risk factors that increase my chance of getting colorectal cancer?
Risk factors include getting older, personal/family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, and inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Lifestyle risk factors include lack of regular physical activity, low-fiber and high-fat diet, a diet high in processed meat, obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption.
- How can I keep my colon healthy?
Make sure to get regular screening tests, including a colonoscopy, and eat a high-fiber diet, including fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. The recommended fiber intake is 25 grams per day for women and 30 grams per day for men. Diet changes can be done gradually by eliminating certain foods and adding others that keep you healthy.
- Is colorectal cancer preventable?
Getting screenings at the recommended intervals can help prevent colorectal cancer from developing, because we can remove precancerous polyps when they are small during a colonoscopy.
- What’s the age to start getting a screening colonoscopy?
Given the increase in colorectal cancers in younger ages, the new recommendation is to get a colonoscopy starting at age 45. It might need to be done at an earlier age if there is higher risk. Talk to your doctor to get scheduled for one.
- How painful is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is not painful. You will be asleep during the procedure, which typically lasts 10 to 30 minutes. The bowel cleansing is usually the most painful, but we use bowel cleansing agents that are tolerable.
- How would I know if I have colorectal cancer?
Listen to your body. If you notice abdominal pain, change in bowel habits, bleeding from the rectum or weight loss, these could be symptoms of colorectal cancer, and you should get checked right away. Unfortunately, polyps and early tumors are asymptomatic; therefore, a screening colonoscopy can help identify precancerous polyps early.
- Is there a cure for colorectal cancer?
There are great advances in treatment that would allow for a complete cure of colorectal cancer, if detected early.