515 Main Street, Olean, New York 14760
(716) 373-2600

Olean General Hospital

Digestive Disease Center

Offering a state-of-the-art Endoscopy Suite to complement the highly skilled doctors, nurses, and techs.

Colorectal cancer causes more deaths than you might think.

Colorectal cancer, or cancer of the colon or rectum, is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, claiming over 56,000 lives a year. An estimated 129,400 men and women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year alone. Many colorectal cancer deaths can be prevented. Screening tests can find polyps, which are tiny growths that can become cancerous. Removing polyps early can prevent cancer. Screening tests also can find colorectal cancer early, when there may not be any symptoms and when treatment can be most effective. While early colorectal cancer often may have no symptoms, sometimes symptoms do occur. Symptoms to watch for include blood in or on the stool, a change in bowel habits, stools that are narrower than usual, general stomach discomfort, frequent gas pains, or weight loss. If you have any of these symptoms, discuss them with your doctor. Only he or she can determine the cause of the symptoms.

Who is at risk?

Both men and women are at risk for colorectal cancer. The disease is most common among people aged 50 and older and the risk increases with age. A family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps also increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer.

There are steps you can take

If you are age 50 or older and have never been screened, start now. Screening is the best way to find polyps before they become cancerous, or to find an early cancer, when treatment can be most effective.

An endoscopy is a procedure that uses a small, thin, lighted flexible scope to see the inside of the body. The three most common endoscopic procedures performed at Olean General Hospital are:

Talk with your doctor or healthcare professional about the screening options.

Digestive Disease Center

Know the Symptoms of Colon Cancer

If you have any of the following symptoms for more than a week, you should talk to a doctor about getting screened for colorectal cancer:
  • A change in the frequency of bowel movements.
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or a sense that the bowel does not empty completely.
  • Bright red or very dark blood in the stool.
  • Stools that are narrower than usual.
  • General abdominal discomfort such as frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, and/or cramps.
  • Weight Loss with no known reason
  • Constant tiredness
  • Vomiting for no apparent reason.
  • Low iron content in your blood(anemia)


If you are over the age of 50, the American Cancer Institute recommends you should talk to your doctor about getting a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy can detect and remove polyps in the colon before they become cancerous and can detect other problems that could lead to cancer later. This outpatient procedure could save your life.