Diagnosing Colorectal Cancer

This information is useful for adults and older adults
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Why Yale Medicine?
  • We have pathologists with deep knowledge in certain sub-specialities of colorectal and gastrointestinal conditions.
  • We offer molecular testing that allows pathologists to examine colon cancer types based on genes identified in the tumor.
  • Our pathologists can consult with other pathologists on particularly challenging cases or for second opinions.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in U.S. men and women. It is the third most frequent cancer diagnosis. For the general population with average risk, guidelines recommend that screening tests, including the colonoscopy, start at 50 years old. During a colonoscopy, doctors examine the colon for the presence of polyps and other abnormalities and remove them. Several other screening tests exist, including CT colonography, blood tests, and stool DNA tests. Yale Medicine’s Department of Pathology offers highly specialized expertise in this area. Most of the colorectal cancer cases are caught by screening colonoscopies, says Joanna Gibson, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pathology at Yale School of Medicine.

Clinical Trials

New treatments for many conditions are tested in clinical trials, which ultimately bring lifesaving new drugs and devices to the patients who need them most. By participating in a clinical trial, you may get access to the most advanced treatments for your condition, and help determine their benefits for future patients.