Colon Cancer Screening With GastroMed Connect

What is a colon cancer screening?

Colon and rectal cancer is typically one of the more avoidable cancers. The colon and rectum make up the large intestine, which absorbs water and nutrients from digested food, and holds solid waste prior to it being released from your body.

A colon cancer screening is the process of searching for polyps and cancer on the inner wall of the colon and rectum when no gastrointestinal symptoms exist. A polyp is a noncancerous growth in the colon. Some of these may turn into cancer later. Early detection and removal of polyps and any cancerous tumors can minimize the risk of issues and death resulting from colon cancer.

Our distinguished GI physicians commonly perform colorectal cancer screenings for Kyle, TX patients. To arrange for a screening, please contact GastroMed Connect.

 

What are the benefits of colon cancer screenings?

Regular screenings for colorectal cancer are imperative for your general and digestive health. The advantages of colon cancer screenings can involve:

  • Detect and remove polyps in the colon and rectum
  • Possibly catch colorectal cancer earlier
  • Potentially prevent colon or rectal cancer from developing
  • Identify other GI concerns, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Can be a life-saving screening

Cancer of the colon or rectum may not produce signs or symptoms until the disease progresses. Having screenings on a routine basis can help identify any concerns or conditions as early as possible.

Individuals should ask their GI specialist at GastroMed Connect about when to go to the colon cancer screening and what tests are suggested. One or more of the tests listed below might be used for a colon cancer screening:

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy: A sigmoidoscopy is used to view the inside of the rectum and lower colon. A tube about the size of a finger that has a camera (called a sigmoidoscope) will enter your rectum so we can get images of the inner wall as well as part of your colon. It can be used to take a biopsy of the tumor or polyp and get rid of some polyps. However, a colonoscopy will need to be done to view all of the colon and extract all tumors or polyps. It is generally pretty safe but there is a minimal chance of the bowel tearing, bleeding, and infection.
  • Colonoscopy: A colonoscope is somewhat like a sigmoidoscope, except it is longer and is used to review the inside of the entire colon. The colonoscope is put in through your rectum and the GI specialist can see a full view of the colon on our computer system. Specific tools will be passed through the colonoscope to take the biopsy and remove polyps. Sedation is required. There is a minimal risk of bowel tears, bleeding, and/or infection occurring after the procedure.
  • Virtual colonoscopy: This is a computed tomography scan of your colon. We’ll have you lie on the treatment table where the CT scanner will take cross-section images of your colon. This is a noninvasive treatment and does not call for any sedation. If we find any abnormalities, a colonoscopy will need to be done to remove the polyps or tumors.
  • Double-contrast barium enema: A little tube is placed into the rectum and barium sulfate, which is a liquid that is white and chalky, and air will be pumped into your colon. The barium suspension will line the outer walls of your colon. X-rays of the colon are then taken to showcase any abnormalities on the inner wall of your colon. If abnormalities are identified, a colonoscopy needs to be done to extract the polyps or tumors.
  • Fecal test: Fecal tests are done with a fecal sample and are very safe. Fecal tests might not give confirmatory results but might suggest abnormalities in the gastrointestinal tract, calling for further testing. A colonoscopy needs to be repeated if your results are positive, indicating cancerous growths in your colon. Our Kyle, TX gastroenterologists offer three types of fecal tests:
    • Stool DNA tests look for certain abnormal DNA genes in the cells shed from cancerous outgrowth or polyps in your stool sample.
    • Fecal immunochemical tests detect blood through a specific immunochemical reaction of protein in the blood and can detect hidden blood.
    • Fecal occult blood tests can detect blood in the feces not visible to the eye through a chemical reaction.

Who may be at risk for colorectal cancer?

  • People who have close family members such as parents, siblings, or children who have had colon cancer
  • Women with a history of ovarian, uterine, or breast cancer
  • Patients who have familial adenomatous polyposis, a condition where patients develop a number of polyps in their rectum and colon
  • People with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
  • Patients who had colon cancer earlier in their life
  • Individuals with an inactive lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, and/or who smoke
  • Individuals over the age of 45

Schedule your colorectal cancer screening today

With regular checks, colon cancer is easy to detect and prevent in the early stages. If you are over 45 or if you have had additional conditions that raise your chances of colon cancer, you can reserve your colorectal cancer screening. A physician-led group of gastroenterologists who operate with a patient-centric attitude, GastroMed Connect utilizes the most innovative technology to support your digestive health. To learn more about a colon cancer screening in Kyle, TX, contact our facility soon.