This article is sponsored by UConn Health. It does not reflect the work or opinions of NBC Connecticut’s editorial staff. To learn more about UConn Health, visit

 Colon cancer is among the most common cancers in the U.S., and highly treatable when caught early. Unfortunately, it's easy to mistake the disease's first symptoms as some other kind of stomach or digestion issue.

That's what happened to Cloe, a colon cancer survivor who went to two hospitals before her final diagnosis. "One said I had muscle spasms," she remembers. "The other one said I had an umbilical hernia." 

Thankfully, she ended up at UConn Health, where experts use an advanced system to pick up tiny changes in the colon before they can lead to dangerous polyps. Once a diagnosis is made, says Eric Girard, M.D., a colon cancer surgeon at UConn Health, "We can do robotic surgery or laparoscopic surgery and minimize the amount of incisions that we’re making." Recovery is easier and patients get home faster, he adds.

Cloe spent only three days in the hospital following surgery. "When we can take someone who has a problem like Cloe's and get them through to the other side where they can go on living their everyday life," says Dr. Girard, "That's why I do what I do."

Some of today’s most exciting colon cancer research is taking place at UConn Health, where scientists and physicians are studying early cellular changes that lead to colon cancer and the impact of environmental and lifestyle factors on the colon. Click here to learn more about the comprehensive and advanced care provided at UConn Health.

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