Colon cancer diagnosis is on the decline thanks in large part to colon cancer screening. Experienced gastroenterologist Ilyas Memon, MD, offers colon cancer screening at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants in The Woodlands, Magnolia, and Conroe, Texas. To find out more about colon cancer screening, call the office nearest you or schedule an appointment online today.
Colon cancer is a type of cancer that affects the large intestine, which is the last portion of your digestive tract. This type of cancer usually starts out as a benign (noncancerous) colon polyp.
Colon polyps are growths found on the lining of the colon. Your risk of developing polyps increases as you get older. Though colon polyps are most often benign, finding and removing them reduces your risk of developing colon cancer.
Colon cancer screenings look for and remove colon polyps.
The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends colon cancer screenings for adults ages 45-75. Whether you continue screenings after 75 is up to you and your doctor.
Dr. Memon advises people at high risk of developing colon cancer to have screenings sooner than age 45. This includes people with a history of colon polyps or a family history of colon cancer.
You should also schedule colon cancer screenings at an earlier age if you have a history of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
There are many types of colon cancer screening tests. Some of these tests include:
Stool tests include the guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT), fecal immunochemical test (FIT), and FIT-DNA test. These tests differ in what they look for as they use samples of stool to check for signs of colon cancer.
If your stool test comes back positive, you need a colonoscopy.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is an endoscopic procedure. During this test, Dr. Memon uses an endoscope (a thin tube with a light and camera) to evaluate the lining of your sigmoid colon, which is the last section of your colon.
If Dr. Memon finds polyps in your sigmoid colon, he recommends a colonoscopy.
A colonoscopy is the gold standard test for colon cancer screening. During this endoscopic procedure, Dr. Memon evaluates the lining of your entire colon, looking for and removing polyps.
To learn more about colon cancer screening and what test makes the right choice for you, call Texas Digestive Disease Consultants or schedule an appointment online today.