Our Gastroenterology Blog
Posts for tag: Colon Cancer Screening
Colon cancer affects thousands of Americans. According to the American Cancer Society's statistics, more than 95,000 people were diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016. The best way to avoid colon cancer is by visiting your Bala Cynwyd, Langhorne, and Philadelphia, PA, doctor.
A colonoscopy is when your doctor examines the lining of your intestines. They check for abnormalities, like polyps, using a thin flexible tube that's inserted into the anus. The instrument allows your doctor to see what's in the lining on a monitor.
Importance of a Colonoscopy
A routine visit to your doctor for a colonoscopy is how most people detect cancer during its earliest stages. Board-certified physicians want their patients to schedule an appointment for a colonoscopy, or a flexible sigmoidoscopy, as soon as possible.
The CDC recommends adults aged 50 to 75 visit their gastroenterologist on a regular basis. Colorectal cancer usually begins as a small polyp in the colon. At first, the polyps aren't cancerous but may develop cancer over time. If you take the proper precautions of screening and keeping an eye out for symptoms, cancer can be treated or prevented.
Colon Cancer Symptoms:
Symptoms aren't always obvious. Here are the symptoms you need to keep an eye out for according to the doctors in Bala Cynwyd, Langhorne, and Philadelphia:
- Bowel Habit Changes: If you are suffering from Colon constipation, or diarrhea, for more than four weeks, that may be a sign of cancer.
- Incomplete Evacuation: If there are constant bowel movements, even if you've just had a bowel movement, then you need to contact your doctor.
- Blood in Your Stool: Hemorrhoids are usually accompanied by blood in stool, but may also be a sign of a more serious condition like cancer.
If you would like more information on colonoscopies and screening procedures, you can contact the doctors at Gastrointestinal Specialists. If you are in Bala Cynwyd, Langhorne, and Philadelphia, PA, call to schedule an appointment today!
The science of health and wellness continues to advance in terms of treatments and cures, but one of the most reliable ways to detect and manage cancer in the earliest stages remains regular screenings, or medical tests that can detect the presence of cancer. At Gastrointestinal Specialists in Bala Cynwyd, PA, our team of doctors recommends all of our patients eventually undergo a colon cancer screening. If you’re not sure when you might need to schedule one, you’ve come to the right place!
What is a colon cancer screening?
When people hear that they need a colon cancer screening, they often assume they'll be scheduling a colonoscopy. While a colonoscopy, in which the intestines are viewed through a small lighted tube, is a very common test, the doctors at G.I. Specialists in Bala Cynwyd offer other tests available that can also detect the presence of colon cancer and precancerous conditions.
When do I need a colon cancer screening?
Most people should have a colonoscopy or other type of colon cancer screening by the time they have reached age 50. These screenings are typically performed once every five to ten years. However, your Bala Cynwyd gastroenterologist may recommend earlier screenings if you have a history of colon cancer or if someone in your immediate family has been diagnosed with it. People within the subset typically need to have screenings more often than those who do not carry this risk factor. People who have chronic G.I. issues such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease may also need earlier or more frequent screenings. Discussing your full medical history at your initial appointment will help determine the schedule that works best for you and your unique health issues.
Gastrointestinal Specialists have office locations in Bala Cynwyd, Langhorne, and Philadelphia, PA, so contact the location closest to you for convenient and caring attention to any gastrointestinal issue you may have.
Helping our Bala Cynwyd Residents Understand Colon Cancer
Let’s Take a Look at Colon Cancer
In the early stage of colon cancer you may not experience any symptoms. Some warning signs of colon cancer might include:
- Changes in bowel movement
- Dark patches of blood in or on stool
- Abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating
- Unexplained fatigue
- Unexplained Loss of appetite
- Unexplained Weight loss
- Pelvic pain
How can I Prevent Colon Cancer?
- Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains
- Drinking alcohol in moderation, or cutting it out completely
- Say no to smoking (quit if you currently smoke)
- Exercise frequently
- Maintain a healthy weight