Screenings for cancer and other diseases are an essential component of preventive care, and an early diagnosis could effectively save your life. The highly experienced doctors at Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants in Santa Ana and Irvine, California, provide colon cancer screenings to give you confidence in your health and catch early warning signs. Request your colon cancer screening by phone or online at Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants today.
Colon cancer is a debilitating disease that begins in your colon or large intestine and can spread to other parts of your body. You can get colon cancer at any age, and it almost always begins in the form of polyps.
Polyps are precancerous growths that are easy for your gastroenterologist to remove without causing damage to your colon. Polyps generally don’t cause any symptoms, but they can progress to cancer without treatment. Advanced colon cancer can cause:
You can get colon cancer screenings regardless of whether or not you have any symptoms. In fact, you should get colon cancer screenings regularly.
The Centers for Disease Control suggests starting your colon cancer screenings at age 45 or as directed by your physician. This is because a whopping 90% of colon cancer cases appear in patients in their forties or older.
The team at Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants may suggest that you start screenings earlier than 45 if you:
After age 75, your physician might tell you that you can stop getting regular colon cancer screenings.
Colon cancer screening test options include:
Stool tests for colon cancer screening may include a test that looks for blood or abnormal DNA in your stool.
During a flexible sigmoidoscopy, your gastroenterologist at Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants uses a thin, lighted tube with a camera to evaluate your rectum and lower portion of your colon.
This colon cancer screening test looks for polyps and abnormal tissue in the lower portion of your colon. Polyps are benign growths that grow on the lining of your colon. When left untreated, polyps may become cancerous.
During a virtual colonoscopy, your gastroenterologist uses X-rays and computers to create images of your colon that they can view on a computer screen. Your gastroenterologist recommends you repeat this screening test every five years or have a colonoscopy if they find anything abnormal.
A colonoscopy is the gold standard of colon cancer screening tests. During the colonoscopy, your gastroenterologist at Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants evaluates the entire length of your large intestine, looking for polyps and abnormal tissue.
Though you may prefer the less invasive colon cancer screening tests, if the results of any alternative test come back positive, the team will recommend you undergo a colonoscopy.
If you’re over the age of 45 or know family members with colon polyps or cancer, don’t hesitate to book your first colon cancer screening at Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants today.