Nearly 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with colon cancer every year. Finding and treating colon cancer during the early stages increases your chances of a full recovery. The experienced team of board-certified gastroenterologists at Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC offers colon cancer screening tests. To schedule your colon cancer screening, contact either office in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, by phone or request one online today.
Colon cancer, also called colorectal cancer, is a type of cancer that originates in the colon or rectum, which are part of your large intestine. It develops from an abnormal growth of cells.
Most colon cancer tumors start as colon polyps, which are benign growths found on the lining of the large intestine. Though not all colon polyps turn into cancer, finding and removing benign colon polyps may reduce your risk of developing colon cancer.
A colon cancer screening looks for the early signs and symptoms of colon cancer to prevent the onset of the common and deadly cancer.
In general, everyone between the ages of 50 and 75 should undergo colon cancer screening.
However, the board-certified gastroenterologists at Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC or your primary care provider may suggest you start colon cancer screenings at an earlier age if you have a:
If you have concerns about colon cancer, contact the experts at Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC to discuss your risk factors and colon cancer screening options.
There are many methods available for colon cancer screening. Your gastroenterologist can discuss the various colon cancer screening tools available and help you decide the method best suited for you.
Types of colon cancer screening include:
There are three stool tests used for colon cancer screening. These tests look for blood or altered DNA in your stool to screen for colon cancer.
Stool tests are repeated annually. If your stool test is positive, the team at Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC recommends a colonoscopy to confirm or rule out colon cancer.
A flexible sigmoidoscopy is a diagnostic test that looks for colon polyps and tissue abnormalities in your rectum and lower portion of your colon.
During a flexible sigmoidoscopy, your gastroenterologist inserts a flexible tube with a light and camera into your anus and through your rectum and sigmoid colon. If you have polyps, your gastroenterologist removes them.
Your gastroenterologist also performs a biopsy of any abnormal tissue.
The colonoscopy is similar to the flexible sigmoidoscopy. However, the diagnostic test evaluates the entire length of your colon. The colonoscopy is considered the “gold standard” colon cancer screening test.
The team at Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC may recommend the colonoscopy over other colon cancer screening tests because it provides the most information. If your colonoscopy results are negative, you only need to repeat the test every 10 years.
To learn more about colon cancer screening or schedule your exam, call Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC, or request an appointment online today.