Colon cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death in the United States but is also one of the most preventable types of cancer. Board-certified gastroenterologist Sandra Rodriguez, MD, at DLW Gastro Clinic in Homestead, Florida, performs colon cancer screenings to prevent this type of cancer. Is it time for you to schedule your screening? Call the office or use the online booking button to schedule your colon cancer screening today.
Colon cancer screening is crucial because it’s the best tool available for preventing colon cancer or finding it during the early stages when it’s easier to treat.
Colon cancer, also called colorectal cancer, is a type of cancer that first appears in the colon or rectum, which is the last section of your gastrointestinal tract. Most colon cancer develops from colon polyps, which are benign growths found on the inner lining of the colon.
During colon cancer screenings, the board-certified gastroenterologist looks for polyps and removes them to reduce your risk of developing colon cancer. Certain types of polyps are more likely to turn into cancer than others, but it usually takes several years for the benign growths to turn cancerous.
The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends starting colon cancer screening at age 45 and repeating the screening regularly. However, you may need to begin screenings sooner than 45 if you have a family history of colon cancer or a personal history of colon polyps.
People with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) — ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease — should also start screenings for colon cancer at an earlier age.
You have many colon cancer screening test options. Some of the screening tools available include:
The colonoscopy is the gold standard screening test for colon cancer. During this thorough evaluation, your gastroenterologist examines the entire lining of your large intestine and removes all colon polyps and abnormal growths.
If your colonoscopy is negative, you only need to repeat the test every 10 years.
A flexible sigmoidoscopy is less invasive than a colonoscopy, only examining the sigmoid colon, the last part of the colon. If your gastroenterologist finds polyps or abnormal growths in the sigmoid colon, you need a colonoscopy.
This test is repeated every year and is combined with a fecal test.
There are several types of fecal tests for colon cancer screening. These tests look for blood or specific DNA in your stool to screen for colon cancer. If your test results are positive, you need a colonoscopy.
You need to repeat the fecal test annually.
Call DLW Gastro Clinic or schedule your colon cancer screening consultation online today.