Colon Cancer Screening in Dallas, TX
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What is a colon cancer screening?
Colorectal cancer is often one of the most avoidable cancers. The colon and rectum make up the large intestine, which will absorb water and nutrients, and holds waste until it is released from the body
Your screening for colon cancer is the process of searching for polyps and growths that could be cancerous on the inner wall of the colon and rectum when no gastrointestinal symptoms exist. A polyp is a growth where there is no cancer present in the colon. Some of these could turn into cancer later on. Detecting and removing these polyps and malignant growths could prevent complications as well as death because of cancer of the colon.
Our board-certified gastroenterologists at Digestive Health Associates of Texas frequently perform screenings for colon cancer for Dallas, TX individuals. To arrange for an appointment, contact our network to find a GI specialist in your area.
What are the benefits of a colorectal cancer screening?
Having routine screenings for colorectal cancer is important to your general and GI health. Several benefits of colorectal cancer screenings include:
- Potentially identify colorectal cancer early on
- Find and remove abnormal growths in the rectum and colon
- Potentially prevent colon cancer from developing
- May be a life-saving exam
- Diagnose other types of gastrointestinal concerns, like IBD
Colon and rectal cancer may not produce signs or symptoms until it advances. Scheduling regular screenings can help detect any conditions or areas of concern as soon as possible.
Are there colon cancer screening options?
Dallas, TX patients should speak with their GI doctor at Digestive Health Associates of Texas around what time they should go to the colon cancer screening and what tests to have. Any of the below tests may be suggested for a colon cancer screening:
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy: A sigmoidoscopy will be used to get a look at the inside of the rectum and lower colon. A finger-size thick tube with a camera is inserted through your rectum so we can take images of the inside wall as well as part of your colon. It can be used so we can take a biopsy of the polyp or tumor and removing some polyps. But a colonoscopy will need to be done to view the entire colon and get rid of all polyps or tumors. It is generally pretty safe but has a slight risk of the bowel tearing, bleeding, and infection.
- Colonoscopy: A colonscope is somewhat like a sigmoidoscope, except it is longer and is used to view the inside of the colon. It is snaked through the rectum so our GI specialist can see a full view of the colon on the monitor. GI tools may be passed through the colonoscope to take the biopsy and extract polyps. Sedation is needed. There is a slight chance of the bowel tearing, bleeding, and/or infection occurring after the procedure.
- Virtual colonoscopy: Virtual colonoscopy is a computed tomography scan of the colon. The person is asked to lie on our treatment table where the CT scanner will take detailed images of your colon. It is a noninvasive technique and does not call for you to be sedated. If we find any abnormalities, a colonoscopy will need to be performed to extract the tumors or polyps.
- Double-contrast barium enema: A thin tube is placed into the rectum and barium sulfate, a chalky white liquid, and air, will be pumped into your colon. The barium suspension lines the outer walls of your colon. X-ray images of your colon are then taken to identify any abnormalities on the inner wall of your colon. If any abnormalities are found, a colonoscopy will need to be done to remove the tumors or polyps.
- Fecal test: Fecal tests are performed with the fecal sample and are very safe. Fecal tests might not provide confirmatory results but may suggest abnormalities in your GI tract, calling for more tests. A colonoscopy needs to be performed if positive results are shown, indicating the presence of cancerous growths in the colon. There are three types of fecal tests:
- Fecal occult blood tests that can detect blood in the feces not visible to normal eyes through a chemical reaction.
- Fecal immunochemical tests detect blood through a certain immunochemical reaction of protein in the blood and can detect non-visible blood.
- Stool DNA tests identify certain abnormal DNA genes in the cells shed from cancerous outgrowth or polyps in your stool sample.
Who might be at risk for colon cancer?
- People with a history of breast, ovarian, or uterine cancer
- Men and women who had colon cancer before
- People with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
- Men and women with familial adenomatous polyposis, a condition where they develop many polyps in the rectum and colon
- People over 45 years of age
- Men and women who have immediate family members like parents, siblings, or children who have or had colon cancer
- People with a sedentary lifestyle, bad eating habits, and who smoke
Book a colon cancer screening today
With routine checks, colorectal cancer can be easily detected and preventable in the early stages. If you are 45 or older or have had prior conditions that raise your risk of colon cancer, you should schedule a colon cancer screening at Digestive Health Associates of Texas. A physician-led group of gastroenterologists who function with a patient-first mentality, Digestive Health Associates of Texas employs the most innovative technology to maintain digestive health. To schedule a colon cancer screening, contact our team to find a GI specialist near you.
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Colon Cancer Screening FAQs
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!!
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.
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!!!
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.
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.