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16

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Colon Cancer, Version 1.2017

2

Treatment planning

Physical exam

If you may have an inherited syndrome, you may be

referred to a genetic counselor. A genetic counselor

can talk with you about getting tested for syndromes

related to colon cancer. To be tested, you must

provide a sample of blood. Using the sample,

a pathologist can test your genes for abnormal

changes that cause these syndromes.

A medical history is needed for treatment planning.

See

Guide 1

for a complete list of care that is

advised prior to treatment. Some tests are for anyone

with colon cancer while others are for a select group.

Physical exam

Doctors often perform a physical exam along with

taking a medical history. A physical exam is a study

of your body for signs of disease. To start, your basic

body functions will be measured. These functions

include your temperature, blood pressure, and pulse

and breathing (respiration) rate. Your weight will also

be checked.

During the exam, your doctor will listen to your lungs,

heart, and gut. Your doctor will also look at and feel

parts of your body. This is done to see if organs are

of normal size, are soft or hard, or cause pain when

touched. Cancer and other health conditions can

cause organs to become enlarged and hard.

Guide 1. Health care before cancer treatment

Tests

For what colon stage?

Medical history

All cancer stages

Physical exam

All cancer stages

Total colonoscopy

All cancer stages

Complete blood count

Stage II, III, and IV

Chemistry profile

Stage II, III, and IV

CT with contrast

Stage II, III, and IV

MRI with contrast + CT without contrast

Some stage II and III if CT unclear or CT with contrast isn’t an option

MRI with contrast

Some stage IV if CT unclear

PET/CT

Some stage IV if CT with contrast isn’t an option

Needle biopsy

Some stage IV

RAS test

Stage IV

BRAF test

Stage IV

MMR or MSI test

All cancer stages