Colon cancer is a common cancer that affects people of all ages. A colon cancer screening can save your life. It’s recommended that adults start colon cancer screening at age 45. Maria Lufrano, DO, is an experienced, board-certified gastroenterologist who performs colon cancer screenings at her practice, ML Gastroenterology. To schedule your colon cancer screening, call the office in Bronxville, New York, or book one online today.
Colon cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the large intestine, which includes your colon and rectum. Most colon cancer starts out as a benign growth, known as a colon polyp, that grows on the lining of the intestinal tract.
In most cases, colon polyps remain benign. However, there’s always a chance they may turn cancerous. Colon cancer screenings find and remove colon polyps.
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and American Cancer Society (ACS) recommend that adults at average risk of developing colon cancer start colon cancer screenings at age 45.
Average risk means you have no personal or family history of colon cancer or gastrointestinal condition that increases your risk of colon cancer. Your age is the deciding factor that places you at average risk.
You may also need a colon cancer screening if you have risk factors, such as a family history of colon cancer or being a heavy smoker. Obesity and diabetes are also risk factors for colon cancer.
Though screening should start at age 45, earlier screenings may be recommended if you’re at greater risk of developing colon cancer.
You need to continue colon cancer screening at regular intervals up until age 75. The frequency of your screenings depends on the type of screening test you take.
There are many colon cancer screening tests. Colon cancer screening options include:
A stool test checks your stool for blood. Blood in your stool may be a sign of colon polyps. If you have blood in your stool, you need a colonoscopy.
If you don’t have blood in your stool, you need to repeat this test every 1-3 years.
A sigmoidoscopy is a diagnostic test that evaluates the last portion of your large intestine, the sigmoid colon. During this test, your gastroenterologist inserts an endoscope into your anus and rectum and advances it through the sigmoid colon, looking for colon polyps.
If polyps are found, your gastroenterologist removes them and recommends a colonoscopy for a more thorough evaluation.
You need to repeat a sigmoidoscopy every five years. However, if you combine this test with a stool test, you need to repeat your sigmoidoscopy only every 10 years.
The colonoscopy is the gold standard of colon cancer screenings. During this test, your gastroenterologist uses an endoscope to evaluate the lining of your entire large intestine.
You need to repeat a colonoscopy every 10 years.
To schedule your colon cancer screening, call ML Gastroenterology, or book an appointment online today.