Advanced Endoscopy Center
Gastroenterology located in St. Louis, MO
Colon cancer screening gives you the power to prevent or cure this deadly disease. Yet cases of colon cancer are on the rise, making it the third-leading cause of cancer deaths in women and men. The team at Advanced Endoscopy Center has years of experience performing colon cancer screening, including high-quality colonoscopies that prevent and cure colon cancer by removing polyps. To schedule your colon cancer screening, or if you have any questions, call the office in St. Louis, Missouri, or book an appointment online today.
Colon Cancer Screening Q & A
What is colon cancer screening?
Cancer screening refers to different types of tests that detect cancer before symptoms develop. Screening saves lives because most cancers, including colon cancer, don’t cause symptoms until they reach an advanced stage.
Colon cancer screening includes two types of tests: stool tests and a colonoscopy.
Some stool tests find hidden blood in your stool. Others detect blood as well as DNA from cancerous cells. If you take any type of stool test and the results are positive, you need a colonoscopy to find the source of the blood or DNA.
During a colonoscopy, your provider at Advanced Endoscopy Center finds and removes polyps. Colon cancer begins in polyps that grow from the tissues lining the colon wall.
Removing polyps before they turn into cancer prevents the disease. If cancer has already developed, your provider can cure your cancer by removing the polyps before the disease spreads.
When should I get colon cancer screening?
The American Cancer Society and the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommend that everyone with an average risk for colon cancer should start regular screenings at the age of 45.
If you have a high risk, you may need to have your first screening at an earlier age. You may also need to have repeat screenings more frequently than those at an average risk.
You’re in the high-risk category if you have:
- Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)
- A family history of colorectal cancer or polyps
- A personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps
- A history of radiation treatment targeting the abdomen or pelvis
You also need intensive monitoring along with early and frequent colon cancer screening if you have a family history of hereditary syndromes that increase your risk for the disease.
What happens during a colonoscopy?
When it’s time for your colonoscopy, you receive a light sedative. Then your provider inserts the scope through your anus and guides it through your rectum and colon. A camera in the scope sends images to a monitor, giving your provider an exceptional view of the inner colon wall.
When they find a polyp, they insert tools through the scope and remove the growth. Then the tissues go to a lab where they’re examined for signs of cancer.
If you have questions about colon cancer screening, call Advanced Endoscopy Center or schedule an appointment online today.