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Colorectal Cancer Screenings

Colon Cancer is one of the major cancers that is actually preventable. The best way to prevent and detect colon cancer is through regular screenings. Since Colon Cancer rarely causes any symptoms in it’s early stages it is vital to be screened regularly. There are various modes of screening for Colon Cancer. The most common type of screening is a Colonoscopy. It is a procedure that allows gastroenterologist to see the inside of the rectum and colon. A Colonoscopy can detect inflamed tissue, ulcers, and/or abnormal growths. The procedure can help to diagnose existing issues such as unexplained issues/changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, bleeding from the anus, and even unexplained weight loss. In the event that any precancerous polyps are detected they can be removed during the course of the screening. Colonoscopies typically begin at age 50 if you are a healthy patient, or younger for patients who have higher risk factors. Higher risk factors include, but are not limited to: family history of Colon Cancer, polyps, or inflammatory bowel disease. Medicare covers a Colonoscopy once every 10 years, or once every 2 years if you are high risk.

The second method of screening is a Sigmoidoscopy. It is similar to a Colonoscopy, but focuses only on the Sigmoid Colon and the rectum. Similarly to the Colonoscopy the procedure can help to diagnose existing issues such as unexplained issues/changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, bleeding from the anus, and even unexplained weight loss. In the event that any precancerous polyps are detected they can be removed during the course of the screening.

The third method of screening is the Fecal Occult Blood Test. It checks for hidden blood in the stool which could be evidence of colon polyps or cancer. A small stool sample is collected and tested for blood in a lab. Most often the patient collects the sample at home using a home kit provided by your doctor and returned to the Quest Lab technician located in our offices.

The fourth option of screening is a Barium enema. This test uses x-ray images to provide images of the entire colon and rectum. A contrast liquid (Barium) is inserted into your rectum using a soft tube and it helps to show the colon clearly on an x-ray. Like a Colonoscopy a Barium Enema can help to diagnose existing issues such as unexplained issues/changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, bleeding from the anus, and even unexplained weight loss. In the event that any precancerous polyps are detected they can be removed during the course of the screening.

The fifth option of screening is a Virtual Colonoscopy. It uses MRI to create a 3-D view of the colon. It is similar to a standard colonoscopy. You lay on a table and have a tube inserted into your Colon, but images are taken from various angles and pieced together to create a 3-D view of your Colon. Like a standard Colonoscopy a Virtual Colonoscopy can help to diagnose existing issues such as unexplained issues/changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, bleeding from the anus, and even unexplained weight loss. In the event that any precancerous polyps are detected they can be removed during the course of the screening.

Our board certified gastroenterologist are dedicated to you as a patient. In that we ensure accurate and timely results. They are assisted by our board certified anesthesiologist to ensure that your procedure is confortable and pain free.

 

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