Health and Fitness

Colorectal Cancer Screening; What You Should Know

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is one of the top causes of cancer deaths in the U.S. However, if diagnosed early, many colorectal cancers can be treated successfully. The best way of decreasing your risk of cancer is to get screened. According to recent studies, colon cancer screening helps in decreasing the risk of colorectal cancer by around 25% and reduces colorectal cancer deaths by about 50%. The good news is that screening for colon cancer at Shenandoah assists in identifying colorectal cancer’s early warning symptoms so that it may be successfully treated before it poses a serious hazard to health. Here is all the information you want on colorectal cancer screening.

What Is Colorectal Cancer Screening?

Colon cancer screening refers to procedures or tests that detect the earliest signs of rectal and colon cancer in a person who is not having any symptoms of the disease. Colorectal cancer develops from abnormal precancerous polyps in the rectum or colon. The screening tests help establish precancerous polyps so they might be removed before cancer.

There are several methods of colon cancer screening, such as checking microscopic blood in your stool. However, colonoscopy is the standard colorectal cancer screening test. It helps find colorectal cancer early when the treatment is best effective. These tests also help your doctor identify the non-cancer causes of issues you may be experiencing.

When Should You Begin Colon Cancer Screening?

The timeline for colorectal cancer screening depends on the risk category you are in. Healthy adults with an average risk of colorectal cancers should generally begin colon cancer screening at 45 years. However, if you are at a higher risk of colorectal cancer, doctors recommend undertaking the screening from as low as 35 years. So, how do you know you are at a high risk of this condition? High-risk individuals include those with inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, family history of colorectal cancer, and genetic syndromes such as lynch syndrome or familial adenomatous polyposis. You will need to undertake regular screening up to the age of 75. After that, you might require less-frequent screenings based on your doctor’s recommendations. Colorectal cancer screening is not required for individuals 85 years and older.

What Occurs During Colon Cancer Screening?

Before a colonoscopy, you are required to fast and use a bowel prep solution to help clean out your bowel. This gives your doctor enhanced visibility to help spot any issues in your colon or rectum. During a colonoscopy, the doctor analyzes the large intestines using a lighted, flexible tube with a built-in camera. This helps the doctor discover polyps that can later become cancerous. The doctor can insert tools to remove polyps so you get treatment simultaneously. The procedure is same-day and painless. After the first colonoscopy, your doctor will determine when the next colonoscopy should be, based on your family history and recent colonoscopy findings.

Ultimately, a colonoscopy can save your life, so it’s essential to undertake the screening as recommended. Colorectal screening tests can find precancerous polyps, which might be removed before becoming cancerous. If the colonoscopy finds a polyp, your health provider might recommend increasing your screening frequency. While a polyp is not cancerous, it might become cancerous if not removed. The test might also find colorectal cancer early when your treatment is highly effective.

David Meyer
My name is David Meyer. I'm a health specialist and have created this website to help people learn more about its health.

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