Colon cancer can be a silent killer, appearing and causing harm more quickly than many people realize. Many people do not realize that they could prevent symptoms and the spread of cancer with regular colon cancer screenings.
If you are uncertain about colon cancer screenings or the steps you need to take to receive a diagnosis, here's what you need to know.
Testing Looks for Several Things
The goal of screening for colon cancer is to look for polyps and other signs that something is wrong. When the doctor finds cells that appear abnormal, further testing may be required before you receive a diagnosis.
What the provider is looking for will depend on many factors, including the type of test involved. Stool tests can be used to test for cancer in some cases. The goal is often to look for signs of blood in stool, but some tests can look for signs of altered DNA.
Types of Colon Cancer Tests
As discussed earlier, stool samples can often be used to test for colon cancer. This involves examining feces for signs of abnormalities that could indicate cancer.
Some tests use a thin tube inserted into the rectum to look for polyps and cancerous cells, which can get a look at the lower portion of the colon. For a deeper look at the colon, you may need to undergo a colonoscopy.
Your doctor will help you determine which screening method is right for you. You may find that some of the options are comfortable and less invasive than you thought.
Screening Is Not Required for Everybody
People should be screened when they are in their 40s. This is an age range in which people begin to be at higher risk for cancer. Younger people may not necessarily need to be tested unless they are at an increased risk for colon cancer. For instance, those who have a family history of colon cancer may need more frequent screenings.
You should also consider frequent screening if you experience some digestive diseases, including Crohn's disease or a similar issue. Your doctor can guide factors that put you at higher risk.
Screening Is Important
There is no risk that you want to take when it comes to colon cancer. Getting treatment can provide relief, but it works best when you are screened properly and receive the fast treatment your body needs to prevent cancer growth. To learn more information about getting a colon cancer screening, reach out to a company such as Gastro Health