What Is the Difference Between a Colonoscopy and Home Colorectal Cancer Test?

As we grow older, it’s essential to sustain our health and wellness by getting standard health screenings, like a colorectal cancer screening. This simple procedure can identify the indications of colon or rectal cancer as well as prevent colorectal cancer development. With new changes in technology, however, patients can screen themselves from the comfort of their homes for colorectal cancer. At Digestive Health Associates of Texas in Dallas, TX, our gastroenterologists counsel patients to understand colorectal cancer signs, and to undergo regular screenings to maintain their total health. However, with the prevalence of at-home screenings growing, it’s vital to understand the difference between a home screening and a colonoscopy performed by a trained GI doctor.

How can I test for colorectal cancer?

It’s important to take your health seriously, and we are proud of you for being proactive by raising your colon cancer awareness. Colon and rectal cancer exams are critical for all people as they get older; although, they’re particularly essential for those who have certain factors of risk, such as a family history of colon cancer. Some men and women elect to obtain an at-home colon cancer test, as they are less intrusive and personal. However, typical colonoscopy screenings at Digestive Health Associates of Texas are more reliable than home tests and highly important to identify and address colorectal cancer as early as possible.

Should you have a family history of colorectal cancer, be turning 45 or over, or have some of the symptoms documented below, we ask you to talk to Digestive Health Associates of Texas to make an appointment with a colonoscopy doctor in Dallas, TX.

Common signs of colon and rectal cancer include:

  • Variation in bowel habits
  • Long-term cramps, gas, or abdominal pain
  • The feeling that your large intestine won’t entirely empty
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blood in the stool

A colonoscopy vs. a home screening for colorectal cancer

It’s essential in your health journey to know the difference between a colonoscopy and a home screening, as both offer distinct degrees of data. At Digestive Health Associates of Texas, we urge individuals 45 and over to get a colonoscopy roughly every decade to screen for colon and rectal cancer and further concerns. Based on your or your family’s history, we may urge you to get examined sooner or more often. While performing a colonoscopy, our GI specialists will check for irregularities or growths (polyps) in the colon and rectum with a tiny camera. If any atypical tissues are identified, we can take out them at the time of your colonoscopy and execute a biopsy. The whole test takes roughly 30 – 60 minutes.

An at-home test offers an accessible way for men and women to test for early signs of cancer from the privacy of their homes. This method is less intrusive and usually only involves sending in a stool specimen for examination. It can seem like a simple method to stay on top of your health and wellness, especially if colon and rectal cancer is prevalent in your family history. Although home colorectal cancer tests might offer a specific type of comfort, it’s important to know their limitations when it comes to your health.

Can I do just home colon cancer exams?

The development of home colon and rectal cancer tests has left some questioning if there's a need to keep receiving standard colonoscopy screenings when they can obtain these easy exams in the solitude of their homes. Even though the at-home test sounds like a convenient process for identifying markers of colorectal cancer, it in no way should be interchangeable with a colonoscopy. Colonoscopy exams are a more thorough screening of the colon and rectum conducted by one of our Dallas, TX gastrointestinal doctors who is qualified to recognize any markers of an issue that may not be apparent with an at-home stool sample.

Get a colon cancer screening in Dallas, TX

As you grow older, we ask you to be proactive about your wellness by maintaining regular colon and rectal cancer exams. These cancer exams are exceedingly essential to protecting your gastrointestinal and general health and discovering signs of colon and rectal cancer early on. The board-certified gastroenterologists at Digestive Health Associates of Texas are highly proficient at diagnosing and helping to prevent colon and rectal cancer. For additional details on colorectal cancer, colonoscopies, or at-home screenings, please get in touch with our GI associates in Dallas, TX today.