Colorectal cancer is the fourth most-common type of cancer among Americans, after skin cancer, lung cancer, and prostate/breast cancer. It is recommended that all adults have a colonoscopy once they reach age 50, or sooner if they have colon cancer or colorectal cancer in their family history.
Invariably, colon cancer screening continues to save thousands of lives every year by facilitating early detection and treatment of this disease. There are several methods for colorectal cancer screening, and they may save your life.
Screening Tests for Colon Cancer and Rectal Cancer
Let’s highlight the main types of colorectal screening tests and who can provide these tests for you:
This is the most invasive but also the most accurate test for colon cancer and colorectal cancer. The patient must self-prepare for a colonoscopy screening test for several days before the exam, as the bowels must be completely clean in order for the doctor to find polyps and growths.
During this test, the doctor will inspect the entire length of the colon. The doctor will remove any polyps that may be found, which can help to prevent colorectal cancer altogether because their removal may prevent cancer from ever developing. A polyp is a small growth in the intestine which may be precancerous.
Fecal Occult Blood Tests
Small amounts of blood are present in the digestive matter as it passes through the intestines (i.e., the colon) every day. However, abnormal growths in the intestines can tend to cause more substantial amounts of blood to leak.
This leakage results in occult blood, which can be detected in a fecal occult blood test. This test checks for the presence of blood in the stool sample.
One procedure combines the FIT (fecal immunochemical test) with a DNA test. To perform this test, the patient collects an entire bowel movement and sends it to a laboratory for analysis.
The lab technicians will check the stool for the presence of abnormal DNA and fecal occult blood. The combination of these results translates to a highly accurate diagnosis.
Colon Cancer Screening in Greater Cleveland
There are multiple ways to check whether you may have colon cancer or colorectal cancer. A gastroenterologist can check your stool, manually inspect your colon, or use X-ray diagnostics to visualize any growths. The choice of test depends on your age, health history, and family health history.
Be sure to choose a healthcare center that has expertise in colon cancer screening for accurate results. At our offices in Westlake and Brooklyn, Ohio, North Shore Gastroenterology provides an extensive array of diagnostic procedures using state-of-the-art equipment.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled gastroenterologists, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (440) 808-1212 or fill out our easy-to-use appointment request form online now. We look forward to being your medical partner for a lifetime of good health.