Colon Cancer Screening in Dallas, TX

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Colorectal cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer, but it's also among the most preventable types. The large intestine, consisting of the colon and rectum, absorbs water and nutrients and stores waste until expulsion.

A colon cancer screening identifies polyps and cancerous growths in the colon and rectum before symptoms manifest. Polyps are noncancerous growths that can become cancerous if not removed. Early detection and removal of these growths can prevent serious complications and fatalities.

Digestive Health Associates of Texas's board-certified gastroenterologists perform regular colon cancer screenings and advise starting at age 45. Contact your nearest Digestive Health Associates of Texas office to schedule a screening.

What are the benefits of a colorectal cancer screening?

Routine screenings for colon and rectal cancer are crucial for your overall and gastrointestinal health. Although different screening methods exist, such as stool testing, a colonoscopy is the only colorectal cancer prevention technique. The benefits of colorectal cancer screenings include:

  • Identifying and removing polyps in the colon and rectum
  • Detecting colon or rectal cancer early
  • Potentially preventing the development of colon cancer
  • Detecting other gastrointestinal issues, like inflammatory bowel disease
  • Acting as a life-saving examination

Colon cancer often shows no symptoms until it is advanced. Regular screenings help your doctor find any concerns early.

It's important to discuss with your GI doctor the right time to start colon cancer screening and which tests to use. Here are some commonly used tests for colon cancer screening:

  • Virtual colonoscopy: This noninvasive method uses a CT scanner to take cross-sectional images of the colon. The patient lies on a table while the scanner captures detailed images. No sedation is needed. If abnormalities are found, a traditional colonoscopy is required to remove polyps or tumors.
  • Double-contrast barium enema: A tube is inserted into the rectum to pump barium sulfate and air into the colon. The barium coats the colon's walls, and x-ray images are taken to detect abnormalities. If issues are found, a colonoscopy is needed for polyp or tumor removal.
  • Fecal tests: These tests use fecal samples and are entirely safe. While they may not provide a definitive diagnosis, they can indicate gastrointestinal abnormalities that require further testing. A positive result necessitates a colonoscopy to check for cancerous growths. There are three types of fecal tests:
    • Fecal occult blood tests: Detect hidden blood in the feces through a chemical reaction
    • Fecal immunochemical tests: Identify hidden blood using an immunochemical reaction with a specific blood protein
    • Stool DNA tests: Look for abnormal DNA from cancerous growths or polyps in the stool
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy: This test uses a sigmoidoscope, a slender tube with a camera, to inspect the rectum and lower colon. Inserted through the rectum, it provides images on a monitor. It can also be used to biopsy or remove polyps. However, a full colonoscopy is necessary to view the entire colon and remove all polyps. While it is generally safe, there is a small risk of bowel tears, bleeding, and infection.
  • Colonoscopy: A colonoscope, longer than a sigmoidoscope, examines the entire colon. Inserted through the rectum, it allows doctors to see the colon's inner wall on a monitor. Special tools can be passed through the colonoscope to perform biopsies or remove polyps. Sedation is required for this procedure. There is a small risk of bowel tears, bleeding, or infection. This method is the only one that offers complete colorectal examination and polyp removal.

These screening options are critical tools in the early detection and prevention of colon cancer.

  • Women with a history of breast, ovarian, or uterine cancers
  • People aged 45 and older
  • Those who have previously been diagnosed with colon cancer
  • Individuals with a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, and who smoke
  • People with inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease
  • Those with a genetic condition called familial adenomatous polyposis, leading to numerous colon and rectal polyps
  • Individuals with close family members, such as parents, siblings, or children, who have had colon cancer

Regular screenings are crucial for early detection and prevention of colon cancer. Individuals over 45 or those at increased risk should book their colon cancer screenings at a nearby Digestive Health Associates of Texas office. Digestive Health Associates of Texas is a physician-led network of gastroenterologists committed to patient-centric care, employing advanced technology to support digestive health. To learn more about colon cancer screenings, contact a Dallas, TX location near you today.

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Why is having colon cancer screenings important?

Colorectal cancer often begins due to irregular growths in the colon or rectum called polyps. During a colonoscopy exam, these premalignant growths can be removed to help reduce the chance of and potentially even prevent colorectal cancer development. Having regular colorectal cancer screenings can also allow doctors to find cancer that has already progressed. When colon or rectal cancer is detected in the early stages, it can be easier to address.

At what age should I start having colon cancer screenings?

People with an average risk should begin having regular colorectal cancer screenings at age 45. Individuals with a greater risk may need to start these screenings earlier. Your GI doctor can help you determine precisely when you should begin having colorectal cancer exams.

How often should I undergo a screening for colon cancer?

The intervals at which individuals should have colorectal cancer screenings may depend on the type of evaluation being performed. Typically, individuals aged 45 years and older should undergo a colonoscopy exam once every decade when they have an average risk of developing colon or rectal cancer and have colonoscopies with normal results. Patients with a significantly high risk should have colonoscopy exams a minimum of once every five years. To learn how frequently you should undergo a colorectal cancer screening, please speak with your GI specialist.

How should I prep for my colon cancer screening?

The preparatory instructions for a colon cancer screening will be based on the form of screening scheduled. With a colonoscopy screening, certain prep instructions will be given to you by your GI team before the procedure to clean out your colon. Your gastroenterologist may also provide additional directions to follow for several days prior to your exam. It is imperative to follow your doctor’s instructions to help ensure they can identify any concerns when performing your screening for colon cancer.

I've been a patient of Dr Hall for over 12 years. I wod highly recommend him. I've been thru 3 colonoscopies, 3 endoscope and a round a of colon cancer. I don't know about the other doctors in that office but Dr Hall is tops!!

L.B. Google

It was 15 yrs ago when my mom decided not to get a colonoscooy when my dad made an appt for his. A year later she was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. She survived but knew she wouldn't have had to endure so much pain and heartache if she had went with my dad. That time was so traumatic and I know getting a colonscopy is the most intelligent choice to make. I met Dr. Shah for a consultation and I'm confident that she is the right doctor for me. She took time to answer all my questions and explained in detail the instructions on getting prepared the day before . Dr. Shah.also went through everything that would take place the day of my colonoscopy and alleviated all fears.

D.G. Google

Dr. Eric Hill and his staff are so amazing. Dr. Hill is the one who found my colon cancer and was able to help me through things. That happened in 2020. As of March 2021... I was declared 100% cancer FREE!. Dr. Hill has kept things up in making sure I stay cancer free in that area and takes things very seriously and is very serious about treatments and being proactive to mo itor things and keeping you healthy. He also found the polyps in my dad and has removed them as well. Dr. Hill is the best there is in my book. He takes the time to sit with you and listen to all your concerns. He doesn't make you feel like your on a time limit. Dr. Hill is a very caring and compassionate man. He goes above and beyond in my book. Thank you Dr. Hill. You are totally awesome!!!

C.C. Google

I’m so thankful I ended up in Dr. Kankanala’s office. I was turned away by another GI for not having a GP referral even though my insurance doesn’t require one. But because he saw me, he discovered my colon cancer. I don’t want to think about how much more time would have passed had he not taken me as a patient. Also the staff here is amazing. The nurses are wonderful and Susan the office manager went above and beyond helping me making sure all my records got where they needed as very quickly I had to see a surgeon and oncologist. I will recommend this practice to anyone needing a caring GI. Thanks Dr. Kankanala for listening to my concerns and handling things so quickly. Forever grateful for this practice.

V.C. Google

Dr. Chittajallu and his staff are the best by far. They are very respectful of your time and concerns. I highly recommend that a person get this test as recommended. I further recommend that you use Dr. Chittajallu for a thorough examination and peace of mind. It would be a true shame for a person to succumb to colon cancer when it can be detected and treated in the earliest stages.

G.S. Google


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