Colon cancer is an unsettling topic for a lot of people. However, it's a reality that people must face and take action. Colon cancer affects both men and women, and it is essential to note that if detected early, it is highly treatable. Learn why it's essential to get tested for colon cancer.
Understanding the Screening Methods
Many people don't know what tests to expect and what they entail regarding colon cancer testing. It's essential to understand the different screening methods available, including colonoscopies, CT colonography, and fecal tests. Discuss the tests available with your healthcare provider to determine which is right for you if they've determined you should get tested.
A colonoscopy is considered the most effective screening method and is recommended for anyone at average risk of developing colon cancer. During the test, a doctor uses a long and thin, super flexible tube with a camera attached in order to see the entire colon and rectum. Polyps or other growths can be removed during the procedure and sent for analysis. Colonoscopies are typically performed while the patient is sedated.
CT colonography, or virtual colonoscopy, uses X-ray technology to create detailed images of the colon without entering the body. This screening method may be more comfortable for some people, as it does not require sedation. However, it is not as effective as a traditional colonoscopy and may require a follow-up procedure if abnormalities are detected.
Fecal tests are available in two types: fecal occult blood tests (FOBT) and stool DNA tests. FOBT checks for the presence of blood in the fecal matter, which can be a sign of cancer. Stool DNA tests check for altered DNA in stool cells, which may indicate the presence of cancer or precancerous growths. These tests can be done at home and require a kit provided by your healthcare provider.
The Importance of Screening
Early detection is essential when it comes to colon cancer. The survival rate for people with colon cancer detected at an early stage is very high. The longer you wait to get colon cancer testing done, the more fatal it can potentially be.
Colon cancer is a concern for many people, and the fear of testing can sometimes outweigh the importance of early detection. However, the screening tests available are quick, effective, and potentially life-saving. Talk to your healthcare provider today about scheduling a colon cancer screening, so you can take control of your health and well-being. Remember, prevention is better than cure!
For more information about colon cancer screenings, contact a medical professional in your area.