Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, and by the time you reach the age of 50, it is recommended that you get yearly screenings. Colon cancer in its early stages does not present any symptoms. Colon cancer screenings can help doctors diagnose the condition before symptoms even appear.
Risk Factors for Colon Cancer
There are many risk factors associated with colon cancer. They include:
- Age – Individuals older than 50 are at a higher risk of developing colon cancer.
- Family history – Individuals with close family members who have had colon cancer are at a higher risk of developing the condition at some point in life.
- Obesity – People who are obese have an increased risk of colon cancer.
- Lifestyle choices – Lifestyle choices such as smoking, excessive drinking, living a sedentary lifestyle, and consuming a low-fiber and high-fat diet all increase your risk of developing colon cancer.
- Diabetes – Individuals with diabetes have insulin resistance, which increases the risk of developing colon cancer.
If any of these risk factors apply to you, it is crucial that you get routine colon cancer screenings.
Colon Cancer Screening Benefits
To screen for colon cancer, your doctor will examine the lining of your colon to see if there are pre-cancerous polyps present. If there are colon polyps present, they will be removed, thereby preventing the polyps from becoming cancerous. If the doctor finds that you have colon cancer, you will begin treatment immediately to prevent the spread of the cancer to other parts of your body.
One major benefit of colon cancer screenings is early detection. If caught early, treatment for colon cancer is less extensive and more effective. The healthcare costs are also less with early detection. But ultimately, the earlier it is detected, the better your chance of survival. Colon cancer caught in its early stages is easy to treat, with a survival rate of over 90 percent.
Another major benefit of colon cancer screening is prevention by education. If you have risk factors, your doctor can educate you on how to lower your risk. Doctors can give you medical advice on how to reduce your risk of developing the disease, such as by making lifestyle changes and supplementations.
Types Colon Cancer Screening Tests
There are a few types of colon cancer screening tests, and your doctor will determine which one is best for you. While a colonoscopy is the most commonly spoken about test for colon cancer, there are other tests available, as well. They include: DNA stool tests, fecal occult blood test, double-contrast barium enema, and sigmoidoscopy.
Colon Cancer Screening in Cleveland, Ohio
For over 25 years, North Shore Gastroenterology has provided comprehensive gastroenterology services to the residents of Cleveland. We specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of many conditions, including colon polyps and colon cancer.
To get a colon cancer screening, contact our compassionate team of experts, which is happy to provide you with excellent patient-centric care in our Westlake or Brooklyn clinics.
If you have any questions about colon cancer screenings or would like to schedule one, please call us at (440) 808-1212 or request an appointment online. Our friendly staff looks forward to serving you!