3 Types Of Colon Cancer Screening Tests You Should Know

Screening tests can help you stay healthy and live a long life. If you have precancerous cells in your body, these tests will detect them early and prevent cancer development. Doctors recommend tests regularly, especially for people with a history of colon polyps. This article discusses three types of colon cancer screening tests you should know.

1. Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is a common form of colon cancer screening. It involves using a long, thin tube with a camera and light on it to look at the large intestines. The procedure may take about an hour, and you will be sedated during the test. It's recommended for middle-aged individuals, and it can find cancers early when treatment has a better chance of success. If abnormal areas are found during a colonoscopy, they can be removed via a wire snare or tiny biopsy forceps. This will prevent them from becoming cancerous.

You may need other follow-up tests for better results, especially if something suspicious has been found in your bowel movement sample after this process. A doctor may also recommend a special X-ray called a CT colonography to check if the suspicious area has changed in size or shape. A colonoscopy may also be used to remove polyps, which are small growths that can develop in the bowel. If left untreated, they may eventually turn into cancer.

2. Sigmoidoscopy

Sigmoidoscopy is a colon cancer screening test involving inserting an endoscope with a camera into the large intestines. The doctor uses special instruments attached to it to inspect and remove any abnormal tissues or growths found in the lower part of the bowel. This procedure is done by professionals who can extract tissue samples for biopsy to determine if they are normal or malignant.

Sigmoidoscopy helps detect polyps early enough before they become dangerous tumors that spread through other organs, including the liver, kidneys, and lungs. It can be done without sedation because it takes a couple of minutes to complete. This makes it ideal for people suffering from severe bowel disorders.

3. Stool Testing

This is a noninvasive colorectal cancer screening test. Doctors use stool tests in conjunction with flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy to get more information on abnormal cells. It is often recommended if you've had a previous abnormal test result or if your doctor is concerned about the possibility of colorectal cancer.

During this testing, a doctor will take a sample of your stool and send it to a lab for analysis. In the lab, it will be tested for hidden blood. If the test identifies cancer or polyps anywhere along the colon and rectum, a flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy will be done to diagnose them further.

It is important to know the different types of colon cancer screening tests. This will enable you to visit your doctor at the right time and catch cancer before it develops. For more information, contact a service like Gastro Health.